KENYA – Brookside Dairy has begun selling powder milk in the local market, a year after commissioning a Sh3.5 billion dry milk plant.

Production of powder milk for the market has seen Brookside’s daily raw milk intake rise to nearly two million litres, from 1.5 million in December.

The powder milk adds to the Ruiru-based processor’s expanding portfolio of products, which include liquid milk, fermented and cream products.

Brookside’s director of milk procurement, John Gethi, said the processor was servicing a number of bulk orders for powder each day, mainly from confectionery industry players in the country.

 “Our powder is manufactured from locally sourced raw milk. As an ISO certified dairy firm, we are keen on offering the best quality powder that meets the test of better solubility and colour, the main attributes preferred by buyers,” Mr Gethi said.

Milk powder is a high value product that has a long shelf life.

The move by Brookside to enter into the powder milk segment is expected to intensify the fight for control of the long-life milk product portfolio, considering that New KCC and Uganda’s Pearl Dairy are also key suppliers of powder milk for the local market.

There are also a number of firms that import the commodity into the country.

On Thursday, Gethi said the processor was banking on automation to ensure consistent quality of the final product during the drying process.

 “What we have is perhaps the most modern milk drying line in Africa. It’s fully automated to ensure that quality standards are consistent throughout the drying process. Automation has also increased our production efficiency ratio,” Mr Gethi said.

The powdered milk plant, Mr Gethi said, has boosted Brookside’s processing capacity and created room for the absorption of more milk from farmers.

He added that the processor would mount an aggressive drive to increase production of milk at the farm level.

 “We have just concluded training for 12,000 dairy farmers at 83 locations countrywide on ways of increasing production for each cow kept. Increased production will play a role in reducing cost of related inefficiencies in the supply chain,” he said.

He added that Brookside would soon embark on massive farmer recruitment drive in the region as the processor seeks to consolidate its more than 44 per cent market grip of the dairy industry.

November 25, 2015;