Recipes - Whey
One of the best parts of working in the dairy industry is sampling cheese, ice cream, milk and my favorite, yogurt from different areas. Flavors may change geographically, but the passion and hard work behind our go-to dairy products are universal. I believe tasting food is the best way to understand the people and the new environment. The range of dairy products and innovation behind the tastes reflects the time and energy of the dedicated people. When I visit a new plant or dairy farm, I make sure to stop by the store to check out the local favorite dairy foods. This ritual has brought many surprises from coffee-flavored yogurt, parmesan dotted with salt granules, charcoal flavored ice cream to yogurt cultured with kefir korn. Dairy is a staple and a sense of pride in any good convenience store.
As I go from the store to the dairy plant- there are just as many changes that reflect the environment and people. From the receiving area where some trucks have automated samplers and others have haulers climbing on top. Even the names for these processing facilities change from plants, factories to dairies. Some have large silos as you enter, while others unload directly into lines that immediately shape the raw milk into the dairy products we love.
One plant I enjoy visiting has one receiving area for two processing facilities- one side is a cheese plant and the other is whey processing. Both are connected by a line to move the product from one plant to the other. This system is built on trust. There are no third-party hauling companies to turn to, just a permanent line that connects the two plants. Having space to build this type of infrastructure helps, but more importantly there is a good Quality system. The Quality departments monitor the data collected off the line and can be confident in the samples between the two plants. Confidence in the sample pulled off the line is key to building trust for all stakeholders involved no matter where they are in the process, especially important in receiving. Seeing how innovative dairy leaders are, from designing receiving areas to developing unique flavors, it makes you wonder how sharing more solutions could help make an even more dynamic industry.
This summer has brought many personal and professional changes. Following a curiosity to develop the international arm of our business, I jumped all in, moved over the pond and opened new location in Stavanger, Norway. We have customers in over thirty countries, however, until now we have not dedicated training or support for our international partners.
Setting up in Norway has been an adjustment with many positive surprises. Simple ones from having a wide selection of brunost (dessert-like cheese made from whey) for breakfast, never-ending sunsets to running through security in five minutes to train our new Italian distributor. The best one yet is passing a dairy farm every morning, who can’t love that?
While there are many great transitions, it can’t go without saying that there are challenges. Communication at times has been slow opening a new office in the summer. July is a typical month-long holiday for Northern Europe and leading into August when the rest of Europe slows down. However, it has opened more time to set up calls with our other regional partners.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be in the middle of success stories from different countries with plants and farms solving sampling challenges. My focus in the upcoming months is to highlight those stories and improve food safety or payment integrity for farmers. Reach out if you have any questions or just have an equal fascination about sampling and the impact it can have for dairy.