Quick summary: There are some hot issues grappling the dairy industry. Setting up a safe, hygienic, transparent and economic dairy supply chain is a major challenge in the food and agriculture industry. Dairy traceability with blockchain technology should ensure transparency in the supply chain and assure a zero adulterated safe product.
Consumer Confidence in the Dairy industry has been questionable….
Adulteration and contamination of milk and its products
Unhygienic milk handling procedures
Demand for sustainable and ethical produce
Lack of Transport Infrastructure
These are some of the hot issues grappling the supply chain of dairy products. Setting up a safe, hygienic, transparent and economic dairy supply chain is a major challenge in the food and agriculture industry
Milk and milk products are widely consumed all over the world. The processed milk comes from the cattle, buffaloes, goats and sheep and the products include butter, cheese and yogurt. The value of the dairy market is estimated to be about 720 billion US dollars with milk standing 3rd amongst the other agriculture commodities.
The dairy sector is prone to scandals due to contamination and adulteration and food safety is a major challenge. The 2008 Chinese milk scandal was a significant food safety incident in the world. The dairy farm supply chain that carries this staple food from the farm to the fridge is very complex and vulnerable to food safety risks.
Milk is a nutritious food which has a short shelf life and is a breeding ground for bacterial pathogens. Milk processes help in stretching the shelf life and thereby reduce foodborne illness. Production and processing are the two main stages in the dairy product supply chain followed by storage and distribution. The dairy supply chain is a long and complex one with its own challenges.
An estimated of 90% of milk is produced by small hold dairy farmers. The dairy animals are fed on fodder, residue of crops and grass. Dairy farming encompasses breeding, rearing and welfare of cattle for production of milk. The principles of breeding help in milk production. Pasture is the natural feed for cattle. Other feeds are also supplemented. Herd management and animal welfare is very important. Disease outbreaks are common and proper veterinary services are mandatory.
The producers are usually dispersed in rural areas and the logistics of linking them to markets is important. Considering the perishable nature of milk, streamlined collection and transportation of milk is vital. Milk is usually transported in cans or tankers and collected at specified collection centers. Milk collectors transport milk to processing centers, local markets, shops or hotels.
Milk that arrives at processing units are stored in bulk chillers at a temperature below 40 F. The milk is then subjected to a series of quality checks to ensure that the milk has been cooled and is bacteria free. It is tested for milk fat, protein and tested for adulterants and residues. The milk is rejected if it does not satisfy the quality checks.
Pasteurization involves a heat treatment process that kills the pathogens in milk and increases its shelf life. Homogenization of milk is carried out to reduce the size of fat and give the milk the color and texture. Milk can be further processed to give the other byproducts like butter, cheese and yoghurt.
The homogenized and pasteurized milk are packaged into cartons and distributed to supermarkets and the end consumers. The cold storage conditions need to be maintained. The byproducts like cheese and yoghurt are often packed in customized packages depending on extra flavors added.
Summing up, the challenges due to food contamination, environmental pollution and nutrient degradation pose critical health hazards.
The increased requirement of dairy consumers has made the industry more complex and the demand for food safety and sustainability has fueled the necessity of transparency in the value chain. The supply chain management in diary is very important.
Blockchain powered traceability solutions have transformed the agri sector giving end to end visibility in these supply chains. The ability to trace the movement of milk and its products from production to consumption is known as dairy traceability. Blockchain also enables to create a trust level in the stakeholders who get onto this common platform.
Read how Milk Mantra integrated Blockchain traceability to solve the food safety challenges in the Dairy industry
The journey starts from the dairy farmer, the collection center, the bulk milk chiller, the processing plant, distribution to the market or the end consumer.
The various challenges in this dairy industry along with the grievous food scandals have mandated the requirement of transparency and traceability in the dairy value chain. Digitization of this dairy supply chain with blockchain technology should address these issues and gain consumer trust. The challenge for the future is to prove the credibility of the product and assure the consumer of quality milk.
The benefits of dairy traceability with blockchain can be summed up as
Every batch of milk can be tracked and in the event of food contamination, the source can be identified and the associated batch recalled.
The granularity of the tracking process helps to pinpoint the contaminated milk batches and avoid mass recalls, saving on food wastage and costs.
The distributed, decentralized ledger allows the farmers, cooperatives, manufacturers and brands to share the information on a single platform and ensure trust in the network.
Consumer is assured of a quality product by scanning the QR code to see the entire journey of milk from the farm to the fridge. It would build trust in the consumer and they would be ready to pay a premium for this product.
Blockchain facilitates certifications and verification of processes, adhering to standards and this helps to prove compliance in domestic and export markets.
Splash the goodness of Milk with supply chain traceability solution with our dairy supply chain traceability and be assured of zero adulteration milk. Our solution can trace the milk and its products and provide the 100% food traceability
Check out the solutions we provided for Milk Mantra to counter the challenges of their dairy supply chain.