Jemal Ahmed (left), CEO of MIDROC Investment Group, hands Adanech Abiebie (centre), deputy mayor of Addis Abeba, the city that is home to a new factory from one of the conglomerate’s subsidiaries, a bottle of milk. The milk product comes with a new twist – it can stay fresh for three weeks if refrigerated.
Shimelis Abdisa, president of the Oromia Regional State, where the plant will partly source its milk, takes note of the bottle.
An expansion project under Lame Diary, one of MIDROC’s 70-or-so subsidiaries, the new plant cost 600 million Br to construct. The new products will be distributed under the Shola Milk brand, which the company established after acquiring the privatised Diary Products Development Enterprise in 2007.
Milk stays fresh under refrigeration for three to four days. A process known as extended shelf-life, a form of pasteurisation, can increase this by five to seven times. This is expected to benefit distribution to farther-off areas as well as reduce wastage. With the plant's construction beginning in 2019 and machinery imported from Italy, no part of the production process will involve manual handling, including packaging. Aside from milk, 10,000lt of which the new plant can produce in an hour, Shola will also use it to process by-products such as cheese and yogurt.
Lame is one of around 40 milk processing companies in Ethiopia, producing over 200,000lt a day.
Packaged milk products are a relatively new phenomenon for the country, growing in tandem with the urban population, though not fast enough to the industry’s insiders. Among their challenges are a poor supply chain and shortages of nutritious animal feed that helps cows produce better-quality milk in greater quantities.
PUBLISHED ON Apr 10,2021 [ VOL 22 , NO 1093]
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