packaging, storage and distribution of processed milk
|ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND HEALTH PAPER||11|
technical requirements and their economic implications
wojciech b. tuszynski
meat and milk development service
animal production and health division
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Heat treatment of milk
Selection and evaluation
Chapter2 CHARACTERISTICS OF PACKAGING SYSTEMS
Chapter3 EQUIPMENT AND PLANT AREAS
Chapter5 DIRECT LABOUR
Retailing packaged milk
Retailing through automatic vending machines
Chapter8 COSTS AND LOSSES OF PACKAGING MATERIAL AND LOSSES OF MILK
Losses of milk
Chapter9 SUMMARY OF COSTS
Chapter10 CONSIDERATIONS AFFECTING THE CHOICE OF SYSTEM
Returnable versus single-service containers
Retail packaging versus sales from bulk
FAO has been approached on several occasions by national dairy organizations for advice on systems of processing, packaging and distributing liquid milk likely to be the most suitable for the conditions in the country concerned. In such cases the authorities normally have a primary objective of making a supply of milk available to all sections of the community particularly in urban areas.
A fundamental requirement for a public liquid milk supply is that it will be safe, that is, it will not be a medium for the transmission of organisms responsible for human disease. For this some form of heat treatment is essential. Pasteurization meets this requirement and indeed should be regarded as a basic process whatever the final product. Several well-established systems for packaging and distributing pasteurized milk are in widespread use and are analysed in the following Chapters. Where the marketing requirements are such that an extended shelf life is necessary, for example, because the consumer is located far away or greater flexibility in marketing arrangements is essential, the alternative processes of in-bottle sterilization or ultra-high-temperature treatment (UHT) are in use. These processes involve special methods of packaging and in analysing the costs of these the cost of the appropriate heat treatment has also been included.
Little information on relative costs of different packaging and distribution systems for liquid milk is available, making the task of selection difficult. This publication attempts to simplify the problem by providing relevant data and methods of evaluation which could be of help in planning appropriate marketing strategies. Wealthy consumers are usually willing to pay more in return for better services - longer shelf life, more hygienic and convenient packaging - even though the basic nutritional value of the product does not change with price. A consumer with low income cannot afford luxuries and must give preference to low-cost products. This may mean that he is denied a supply of safe milk unless provision is made to meet his special needs. It may be that in some markets the milk plant should cater for different types of demand: in others only one system, probably the cheapest, could be justified. A preliminary market survey should provide the necessary indications.
It should be clearly seen that local milk production cannot develop unless prices to producers are remunerative. A policy of attractive producer prices in countries where the majority of the population is rural benefits more people than a policy of low consumer prices in urban areas. Milk is an expensive commodity and consumption of milk sold commercially at prices reflecting the true costs of production, processing and distribution in urban areas is limited in most developing countries to consumers with higher incomes. Widening the group of consumers is feasible by economizing on packaging and distribution expenses. Should the authorities concerned decide on subsidizing liquid milk consumers, the subsidies should cover only the more economic milk processing and distribution systems aiming at supplying milk to a wider group of consumers. There is no reason for spending subsidies on sophisticated products or packaging and distribution systems. Such systems should be introduced only if the group of consumers with higher incomes is large enough and willing to pay higher unsubsidized prices.
In planning a project to introduce, or extend, a supply of safe liquid milk at an economic cost, consideration must be given at an early stage to decide the optimum system for packaging, storage and distribution in the particular circumstances which are likely to prevail. There are many options, differing in cost by a factor of 5 or even more. The choice of a system may therefore have a critical effect on demand, and therefore on the success of the enterprise, and also may be fundamental in planning the processing plant and the distribution arrangements.
Heat treatment of milk virtually gives it new life and there can be no question that packaging in retail containers at the milk plant has considerable advantages for the consumer. Indeed, retail packaging is an essential part of the in-bottle sterilization and UHT processes. However, packaging costs money and where the ultimate price which the consumer has to pay is an over-riding consideration the cheaper alternatives, for pasteurized milk, of distribution in cans or, better, automatic vending, must be studied. Both of these alternatives are analysed in the following Chapters.
It is hoped that this publication will provide relevant information on the basic techno-economic implications of the principal systems at present applied successfully in many countries, and that it will help in making wise decisions in the introduction of appropriate systems in developing countries.