ORGANIC MILK FOOD PRODUTS

Definition As per the Codex Alimentarius commission Guidelines, organic farming may be defined as “ a holistic production management system, which promotes and enhances argroecosystem health including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity”.The guideliness have also established principles of organic production from the stages of production, processing, storage and transport to labelling and marketing. Organic production is different from the conventional production mainly due to its stress on conserving the fertility of soil, avoiding pollution, producing food of optimum nutritional quality, minimizing the usage of nonrenewable resources, etc. Historical Development The philosopher Rudolf Steiner founded biodynamic farming during a series of lectures given at an agricultural course in Germany in 1924. When organic movement started in the 1960s, it was extensively based on the experience of biodynamic farming. The pioneers of the movements were town people to protest against the increasingly intensive method of production, especially the use of pesticide and fertilizers. These trends were supported by general society against increasing materialism, centralization and indiscriminate large-scale products. In 1981, the organic farmers coordinated with international body called International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movments (IFOAM), which prepares guidelines for cultivation and processing. It also has an accreditation programme to control bodies worldwide . The number of organic farmers was at a modest level until the early 1990s. Many pioneers dropped out due to economical loss in dairy farm business. However, those who stayed in the new environment slowly qualified as professional organic farmers.

The Danish organic movement was organised in 1981 with the foundation of the Danish Organzation for Organic Farming . Today organic milk accounts for more than one –fifth of sales in certain countries. These estimates indicate that there is an enormous difference between the growth rates of organic milk production of different European countries. For example, france had organic milk production of 65 million kg in 1998 and has demand of 400 million kg in 2000. Similarly it is estimated for Denmark, 185 million kg and 333 million kg in 1998 and 2000, respectively. The $5.5 billion US organic industry has been doubling in size every 3.5 years since 1990. The organic milk is now the second most important organic product after fruits and vegetables in a market with a volume of 2.3 billion US dollars in Germany. With a share of roughly 39% of the entire European organic milk market, Germany ranks well ahead of Denmark (~18%) and Austria (~12%) Austria has 200000 organic farms ,10% of the total number of farms. Canada has 42 organic food organizations each with its own set of standards. In india, recently a seminar was organzed at Gujarat Agricultural University, Anand, to discuss the organic aricultural aspects and to create awareness amongst the farmers and concerned organizations / associations. Under the Bureau of Indian Standards, we have eco-marking system to protect the environment and health. Fundamental Rules The organic practices project the following concerned principles as different from the conventional practices:        Preserving the fertility of the soil Avoiding all kinds of pollution Producing goods of optimum nutritional quality Utilizing local resources and labour in closed cycles Reducing the use of non- renewable resources to a minimum Providing domestic animals with good condition of life Securing that the farmer can support himself by farming

Organic Dairy Sector Organic Dairy Production, a segment of Organic farming is primarily based on the following farm and live stock managment practices:  Grazing is an essential requirement under organic herd managment. Animal should have sufficient area for grazing and free movement. Confinement of animals for a long period is not allowed.  In organic milk production, the cattle health has to be managed with almost nil to very restricted use of the allopathic medicines including the antibiotics and hormones. Prevention is the best remedy under the organic herd managment, followed bt the use of alternate remedies like ayurvedic, homeopathic and other indigenous practices.        Clean drinking water in sufficient quantity is to be offered to the animals. Pesticide free green fodder and feed in sufficient amounts are to be fed to animals. Pure livestock breeds are preferred. Local breeds are to be encouraged. Cross breeding goes against the philosophy of organic milk production. Artificial insemination is not allowed under the organic managment as per the indian standards though the European standards allow for artificial insemination. No child labour is to be used in production, prosessing and marketing of dairy products. Producres have to keep the written records concerning the production and processing. For the production of organic foods and products special care is taken to exclude artificial ingredients like colour, flavour, stablizer, sweetener etc. Organic Milk and Dairy Products The following points will help in understanding about the organic milk in the detail:  Organic milk is the result of keeping and feeding dairy cows under special conditions.The conditions bind to the fundatmental rules for organic dairy products. It is guided by several national and international organzations.  In USA, task is monitored under the organic food production Act of 1990 (under USDA) and a National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) has been set up. The NOSB defines organic agriculture as an ecological production managment system that promotes and

enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil bioactivity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on managment practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that intergrate parts of farming systems into a holistic ecological system. Organic agriculture practices can not ensure that products are completely free of residue, however, methods are used to minimize pollution of air, soil and water. i.e. it is a managment system and not the final products standards (as preceived through ISO 9000/1400 standards, but not identical). The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animal and people. The unified US standards for organic dairy includes: No prohibited substances (pesticide, chemical fertilizers) applied to the land for at least 3 years, 100% feed raised by organic production practices and no antibiotics and hormones are allowed.   In Germeny ecological farming associations, united under the umbrella AGOL, specify the practices almost similar as stated above In terms of physical, chemical and sensory properties, the milk produced under organic way does not differ from milk produced under conventional way. The claim by some consumers that the organic milk tastes better than conventional milk shows that the consumer knowledge of organic milk is lacking and emotionally based.  The joint FAO/WHO food standards program and the codex Alimentarius commission’s committee on food labelling establish guidelines and

recommendations specific to labeling of food products. The codex committee on Food labeling (CCFL) recoginzed that the definition of “organic” is more of a reflection of a process rather than the final products. The guidelines have established principles of organic products from the stages of production, processing, storage and transport to labelling and marketing. The guidelines also provide an indication of accepted permitted inputs for soil fertilization and conditionig, pest and disease managment, food additives and processing. The guidlines define organic agriculture as “holistic production managment system

that promotes and enhance agroecosystem, health biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity”. Futher sections of the guidlines defining general principles for livestock production, source of livestock period necessary for the conversion, nutrition, permitted health case measures, husbandary practices, housing, manure managment, record keeping and livestock identification. The labelling guidelines for organic food under codex were developed with respect to regulation in force in several countries and were designed to prevent claims that could mislead consumers about the quality of foods or the manner in which they are produced. The products resulted from such organic agriculture are called organic dairy products. In Europe, out of total organic dairy market, organic yoghurt and organic cheese repesented 31.9 and 12.0% respectively in 1999. Costing of ODP In Denmark in the early 1990s the large dairy plants entered into contracts based on additional prices up to 40% for organic milk. However one food plant signed 3-year contract guaranteeing prices that are 20% above the conventional level. Today 50% of the organically produced milk goes in the market as organic milk which need to be increased to pay bonus to the producer for their efforts to preserve the nature by creating the House of Ecology. The yield of organic milk tends to be lower than those of conventional. Similarly the gross income of organic farms tends to be lower in Canada and Denmark. However, these may be overcome in days to come by selling large amount of milk and milk products in the growing market. According to research done by the Hartman group (USA), 69% of the organic interested consumers say they would purchase organic products at 10% premium and 31% at 20% premium. The major reasons for low purchase of organic foods are high price and insufficent supply ,whereas, reasons for consuming such products are health concern, taste, quality, psychology and environmental interest.

Future of Organic Dairy Products There are several challenges for organic dairy products viz.  Processing challenges  higher cost of raw materials  limited supply  utilization and balancing components (e.g butterfat or milk solids)  long term contracts for demand and supply and quality certification  Market challenges  availability of regular market  high prices and international transactions Some experts look this new era with less optimistic view because of the consumer needs for more convenient food products like individal portions and ready to eat meals . The food service is growing and in these kinds of products, the organic origin is difficult to volarize. However, these changes may be required to be ripping-over by educating the producers and consumers. The development of the products can be enhanced by standardization of the specifications, creation of national organic logo or label, involvement of local market chains for drawing and attracting occasional and new consumers and government support to the farm conversion. Jemet (France) forecasted that in 10 years, organic dairy production would represent 3 % of the total dairy products in the developed countries.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful