Growing demand from dairy farmers seeking to add value to their milk has led to increased interest in the Lely Orbiter, an on-farm automatic dairy processor. This month, the fourth unit will be installed on the Rotgans’ family farm in Hippolytushoef, the Netherlands.
The Rotgans use the My Milk (Mijn Melk) label, now distribute diary products start from the farm to supermarkets and consumers. The family has increased the value of its milk yield thank to the innovation and is serving consumer demand for locally produced products.
Reijer Rotgans is the fourth generation of his family to run the farm. He says innovation is key to future-proof the business: “Being a farmer involves much more than just milking cows. You need to have an entrepreneurial mindset. The sector has plenty of unexplored potential. Nowadays, growth no longer lies in market expansion, but mainly in adding value by extra activities.”
Sustainable farming is the starting point for the family farm. They built a new cowshed in 2014 to offer improved comfort and reduce the environmental impact of the business. Cows can move freely in the barn and for at least 120 days per year, they have six hours a day with the freedom to go outside and be milked whenever they choose. Milk is bottled within 24 hours and distributed straight from the farm to the supermarket.
Reijer Rotgans’s dairy products are sold under the Mijn Melk label: milk distributed straight from the farm. Farmers affiliated with the scheme process the milk on the farm independently, thanks to the Lely Orbiter. Mijn Melk farmers prefer a short, transparent food chain. Consumers always know the origin of the milk, down to details about the date and time the cow was milked and the milk was bottled.
The Lely Orbiter is an advanced mini dairy factory for the farm and directly linked to the Astronaut system. Dairy products delivered straight from the farm are now available in more than 1,000 supermarkets throughout the Netherlands. In the near future, the company will increase the distribution and the number of affiliated farmers.
After the introduction of cream and semi-skimmed Jersey milk, containing naturally 30% more protein, Lely expects to further expand the Orbiter’s production capabilities in the short term. This will allow dairy farmers to further expand their product range.
For more information go to www.lely.com