At the invitation of Staryi Saltiv Amalgamated Community (Kharkov oblast), Iryna Vysotska, Dairy Component Coordinator of the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine”, took part in the seminar for small and medium milk producers.
Kharkiv oblast is one of four oblasts (including Vinnytsia, Mykolaiv and Poltava) where the pilot project of raw milk control program is being implemented. Thus, with the financial support of Switzerland, four laboratories of the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer protection were provided with the necessary equipment and reagents for raw milk laboratory testing for somatic cells count (SCC), total bacterial count (TBC), freezing point (FP) and presence of inhibitors. Therefore, for the period of the pilot project, raw milk tests are free of charge for the involved milk producers. In addition, the Dairy Module application for automatic collection of test results and a rolling geometric average calculation for TBC and SCC (according to Order No 118 of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine “On Approving the Requirements to Safety and Quality of Milk and Dairy Products” dated 12 March 2019) was elaborated. This application will notify both milk producer and the competent authority in case of noncompliance on the criteria as provided for in Article 40 of the Law of Ukraine No 2042-VIII “On State Control over Compliance with Legislation on Food Products, Feeds, Animal By-products, Animal Health and Animal Welfare” dated 18.05.2017.
Apart from the requirements of the new food legislation, the participants learnt about importance of fulfilling animal hygiene and health criteria; they received information and training materials on best practices of milk production and got acquainted with a simple and quick method of detecting subclinical forms of mastitis. All the participating milk producers were presented with the set for visual SCC testing.
It is important that practicing experts, representatives of SSUFSCP, Department of Agro-Industrial of Kharkiv Oblast Administration, Agency for Animal Identification and Registration, and State Tax Service participated in the seminar.
This meeting was initiated by Natalia Koval, Manager of Yupiter Farming Enterprise, who called for the participants to try to improve their practices and move ahead towards quality milk.
Yupiter Farming Enterprise is the first enterprise in Kharkiv oblast which agreed to participate in the pilot project and Natalia Koval personally is an active participant of discussions related to further implementation of the raw milk control program.