The 6th annual Give Way to Milk motor rally organized by The Dairy News has covered 1,700 km across Altay Area, Republic of Altay and Novosibirsk Oblast. A total of 141 people from Russia, France and Canada travelling in a motorcade of 49 vehicles visited the dairy farm of Sibirskaya Niva (Borkovo village, Maslyanino district, Novosibirsk oblast).
On the road
They are used to being at the helm. They are true experts of the dairy industry, its driving force. Participants of the Give Way to Milk motor rally head for new experiences every year. Sibirskaya Niva was the first stop en route. The motorcade of dairy producers was decorated with flags, stickers and aerographics on the occasion. One couldn’t but notice the flamboyant motorbike rider among others. The biker was undeterred by the long route.
‘The road, just like work, is no place to shy away from challenges’, says Sergey Kozlov, Financial Director of Altay Buryonka. ‘Cost reduction is impossible, unless you gain insight into operational nuances. We do have issues to address. For example, today I heard some useful information on diagnosing mastitis. The more know-how you introduce into your operations, the more effect you achieve.’
At the heart of the motor rally 2017 is one common thread: A Different Russia. Siberia, contrary to stereotype, turned out to be warm and welcoming. And the motor rally itself became a business networking event.
‘Despite working in a highly-specialized industry sector, we are very broad-minded’, says Sergey Rezunenko, Director General of Kieselmann Rus Yug. ‘For us, communication comes first. Processing and trade are inextricably connected with milk production, and vice versa. It should be a full cycle. It is the development of the entire industry that we campaign for, not just that of a specific place.’
No better fellow travelers than the Academy of Dairy Sciences
The guests were treated to a tasting of dairy products produced by Siberian branch of the Academy of Dairy Sciences.
‘Demand for our products is growing consistently’, says Alexey Frants, Sales Manager of the Academy of Dairy Sciences. ‘Buyers have become more discerning, preferring natural products. For example, yoghurt sales have gone up nearly 20 times over last year. We have three company stores at social grocery fairs and at the city market in Novosibirsk.’
The travelers built up their strength by refreshing with the dairy products to fit every taste: natural milk, cottage cheese, butter, sour cream and fruit-flavored yoghurts.
‘Our products are natural, that is why they have a short shelf life', says Irina Limareva, Dairy Production Engineer of the Academy of Dairy Sciences plant. ‘We purchase our fruit and berry fillers in Tomsk. The most popular ones are apricot, cherry and strawberry!’
With supply volumes of over 120 tonnes of milk per day, Sibirskaya Niva is the largest milk producer in the region.
‘When you take part in such events, you draw certain conclusions on your own progress: whether you manage to keep pace with the time, if you are moving in the right direction and whether you need to catch up’, says Irina Barmina, Chief Herd Manager of Kilachevsky Farming Enterprise (Sverdlovsk oblast). ‘To survive, one needs to continuously upgrade the production and strictly comply with the production processes, be it in young stock growing, milking, feeding, or forage preparation. We have some expertise ourselves. But there are things to learn from Sibirskaya Niva, too.’
The guests took a tour of the dairy unit in Borkovo village. They saw a cow barn with a capacity of 400 head of cattle and a large carousel milking parlor for 72 cows.
‘It is obvious at a glance, that the visitors know the ropes in the business’, says Sergey Lyakhov, Regional Director of EkoNiva-APK for Siberia region. ‘The fact that they were able to pinpoint exactly those process intricacies that enable us to secure the leading position speaks volumes about their qualification. It is great that they will be able to put the acquired know-how to good use in their enterprises.’
Going by the data from investment projects, it is quite possible that Sibirskaya Niva will become an absolute leader at the regional commodity market. Expansion of the dairy unit in Penkovo village from 1,800 to 5,000 head of cattle is well underway. Next year, construction of a 6,000-head dairy farm in the nearby Elban village as well as a of cheese factory with a production capacity of 600 tonnes of milk per day is due to commence.
‘Taking into consideration the growth of our production volumes, it is primarily processing plants that we would like to visit’, says Sergey Lyakhov. ‘We are going to need buyers for our milk. And the motor rally provides us with the much needed contacts!’
By Tatiana SIMONENKOVA