Vinamilk, Vietnam’s largest dairy producer, has begun operating the country’s first-ever organic dairy farm to adhere to European standards, in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.
Located in Tu Tra Commune, Don Duong District, the $8.7 million farm, certified by the Netherlands-based global network of inspection operations Control Union, has a herd of 500 imported cows.
The cattle are fed no growth hormone but only organic grass with no pesticides, so that their milk will not contain antibiotic residue, company CEO Mai Kieu Lien said.
“We apply close monitoring measures to ensure the herd will only produce high-quality milk,” Lien said.
“When the cattle get sick, they will be treated with the organic herbs.”
Despite the huge investment and labor-intensive organic procedures, organic milk fetches only 30 percent more than conventional milk, meaning Vinamilk is not expecting to make a profit from the project.
Lien said the farm reflects the company’s commitment to clean and sustainable production, with Vinamilk wishing to make high-quality products available to Vietnamese consumers at reasonable prices.
The CEO added that more organic dairy farms will be built in the future.
Nguyen Thi Nga, manager of milk quality with Vinamilk, said the cows had been carefully selected before being transported to Vietnam by air in June 2016.
“The cages at the Tu Tra farm are especially designed so that cows can freely go hunting for grass on nice days, and return to shelter in foul weather,” Nga said.
Most of the 70-hectare farm is dedicated to growing grass so that cattle will have feed all year round.
“We do not buy grass from local farmers as we cannot inspect the feed quality,” Nga explained.
The milking process is also much different from a conventional farm, Nga added.
“The cattle are washed and cleaned from hoof to fur before being taken to an area where they are massaged while listening to music,” Nga said.
“We only start milking once the cows are in their most relaxed state.”
Source: Tuoi Tre News
Photo: Tuoi Tre News