Agriculture ministry postpones introduction of new standards for milk purchase from households

UNIAN 1

The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine says the introduction of the updated standard on milk purchases from households is postponed until July 2018.

"In fact, the delay will be used by the Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry to form a multi-stage transformation system for the raw dairy materials quality requirements, as well as hygienic requirements for dairy products in production and processing," the report said.

According to the ministry, the draft document on milk procurement has been finalized and will be presented in January for public debate. Once passed, it will become a mandatory regulation, replacing all current standards. The decision to postpone the adoption of the standard will help to smooth the adaptation to the new conditions for both manufacturers and processors.

Each stage of the introduction of changes in requirements for milk will be accompanied by an analysis of market development and the effectiveness of state support. The ultimate goal is to gradually bring the quality requirements for raw milk to higher standards, the so-called 100/400 standard, which is in line with European regulations.

The draft document stipulates that the use of second-grade milk for the production of food products after a two-year transition period will be limited. However, its use will be allowed in the production of non-food products, such as animal feed or casein. Thus, procurements of milk from households will remain in place.

According to Deputy Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Olena Kovalyova, raising the quality of milk from the second grade to first does not require significant expenses. This refers just to hygiene.

"It is expedient for milk producers to work on improving sanitary and hygienic conditions. Milk of higher quality costs more than that of the second grade. The difference, on the average, reaches two hryvnias, and even more. Raw milk of the highest quality is in high demand. Now its share in the structure of procurement is 15.5%, whereas it was 13.8% a year ago. Moreover, it is precisely extra-class milk that forms the basis for the production of dairy products intended for exports," Kovalyova said.

The deputy minister stressed that cooperation could be a good way for small farms to improve milk quality. It will be possible then to jointly buy and use equipment, set up sales, and provide veterinary care. According to the official, today a very small part of milk is being sold via cooperatives, although they have a huge potential.

As UNIAN reported earlier, to date, all the requirements for milk are prescribed in state DSTU standard 3662-97 "Cow Whole Milk. Purchase Requirements." The standard stipulates that all milk, depending on the level of bacterial contamination and the content of somatic cells, be divided into extra, higher, first, and second grades. From January 1, 2018, this standard should have been replaced by DSTU 3662: 2015 "Cow Whole Milk. Specifications," which aims to increase the requirements for milk quality and allows using second-grade milk only for limited purposes.