Al Ain Dairy boosts production by breeding cows locally
The Dairy and Fruit Juices Industry is expanding at a rate of 10 per cent annually and currently meets 56 per cent of the demand in the UAE, according to a recent study by the Department of Economic Development (DED), which identifies UHT juices and UHT milk as products that have great potential for export. In line with this, Al Ain Dairy, the first established dairy farm in the UAE and a leading producer of dairy products, has become one of the few dairy farms in the region to fully depend on its own herds of cows after it has launched a project, among its many activities, to minimize importing and boost local cow breeding with aims to increase milk production and further strengthen its leading position in the highly competitive market.
The Dairy industry is still expanding despite the global economic slowdown. With the existence of many dairy producers and the increase of competition level, the quality is increasing and the expenditure on the industry in terms of machinery, farms, labs, personnel and production is boosting. First launched the project in 2006, Al Ain has established and well equipped three farms to accommodate the first batch of cows which in three years have enriched Al Ain’s stock with more than 3000 milk producing cows that are currently supplying the country’s various outlets with raw milk products.
Despite of the current 26 operating cattle farms in the country which contain 15,000 cows producing 167,000 tonnes of fresh milk annually, the local market’s needs are still being covered by imported products.
Highlighting the huge demand for dairy products in the UAE, the local market faces an essential need to expand according to recent studies which have further recommended that dairy industry should research and develop new and differentiated products designed to meet specific needs and tastes of the local consumers as imports do not completely satisfy this demand.
Commenting on this subject, Eng. Abdullah Al Darmaki, CEO, Al Ain Dairy, said:
“The decision to grow our own cattle has been derived from Al Ain Dairy’s vision to be recognized as the preferred choice of dairy products for all customers and to become a self-sufficient plant that provides a 100 per cent locally manufactured products”.
“Amongst the many fears that have erupted following the spread of diseases among cattle, we have opted to grow our own herds following high levels of safety standards, with constant health inspections”, added Al Darmaki.
Cows have a 9 month gestation period after which they give birth and start producing milk, where each cow can produce up to 10000 liters annually. The original cows were imported from Australia, however, today Al Ain Dairy no longer import as the farm is able now to breed enough replacements on its own. Each farm has its own vet and helper to look after the cows, where cows are constantly diagnosed and treated.
To further improve milk quality and enforce health standards, Al Ain Dairy has recently purchased a Dhs.600,000 state of the art BactoScan machine, a revolutionary device that provides instant accurate and reliable bacteria count in unlike of the conventional methods that takes 24 – 48 hours.
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