Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

{Milk Too Hot } {Refrigeration Systems Battle to Cool Milk } {to Handle}; Dairy Farmer Dumps 903 Litres during Heatwave

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

{Milk Too Hot } {Refrigeration Systems Battle to Cool Milk } {to Handle}; Dairy Farmer Dumps 903 Litres during Heatwave

Article excerpt

Byline: TONI SOMES

CLIFTON dairy farmer Chris Brown was forced to dump 930 litres of fresh milk in the paddock after it was rejected for being 0.5 degrees too warm during last week's heatwave.

The third-generation operator said milk company Parmalat rejected his product because it was 5.5 degrees as opposed to five degrees when the tanker arrived on one of our warmest mornings on record.

"We had to dump the milk on Wednesday although there was nothing wrong with it, all because it was half a degree too warm," Mr Brown said.

"Yet last week the company accepted milk from us at the same temperature.

"This is more about Parmalat's milk supply than temperature regulations.

"They accept it when it suits them, but reject it when it doesn't."

However Australian Dairyfarmers president and fellow Southern Downs region milk producer Wes Judd said strict temperature regulations were critical to milk quality and farmers needed to work hard to meet them.

"I would be the first to accept it is a challenge given the current hot weather conditions," Mr Judd said.

"Yet as producers we need to do what we can to ensure milk is cooled fast."

He said a lot of on-farm refrigeration systems were struggling with the high temperatures.

"I don't think this incident is about milk supply levels, milk companies are committed to taking product," Mr Judd said.

"But food safety standards are getting tougher."

Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code maintains milk in Queensland and New South Wales should be cooled to between four and five degrees within two hours of the start of milking.

In comparison milk produced in New Zealand needs only to be cooled to seven degrees within two hours from the finish of milking.

As a grassroots producer Mr Brown said he was at the mercy of the large company and losing money while they dealt with an oversupply on the Queensland market.

"We can't claim rejected milk on insurance and the only thing wrong with this milk is it needed a little longer to cool," he said. …

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