THE Dept. of Science and Technology (DOST) upskills employees of a dairy cooperative in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon.
This is with Food Safety Training and various science and technology interventions. Members of the Dalwangan Malaybalay United Dairy Agrarian Reform Cooperative (DAMAUDARC) now adopt the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the daily production of cow’s milk.
The two-day training aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of the 64 cooperative members in terms of basic food handling, food safety hazards, and GMP. Further, it also aims to improve the plant efficiency through improved processes incorporated in the production.
Guest speakers for the training were Lesli N. Uy, DOST-X in-house food safety expert and Geli Foods owner and GMP speaker, Erwin M. Geli. The latter emphasized the importance of the implementation of control measures, and strict documentation and record-keeping practices.
The training, conducted on November 9-10, 2023, was actively participated by 26 dairy farmers directly involved in the production. It was conducted in collaboration with the city government of Malaybalay through the City Agriculture Office.
Richard B. Leono, Officer -in -Charge of City Agriculture Office, expressed gratitude to DOST for turning the project a reality. “Mapasalamaton mi sa DOST for their assistance and support. Naa najud atong dugay nga gipangandoy ug kani nga food safety training ang first step para ma realize nato atong goal nga naa njud tay dairy processing diri sa Malaybalay City,” he said. (We are thankful to DOST for their assistance and support. This food safety training is the first step towards realizing our goal of having a dairy processing facility here in Malaybalay City.)
DOST has assisted the coop to follow a GMP-compliant plant layout and organizational structure. These technical interventions are stepping stones in the cooperative’s goal of acquiring license to operate and Product Registration to the Food and Drug Administration.
DAMAUDARC has first received the assistance of the agency through the program, Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) on 2018. Through the support and partnership with LGU Malaybalay, DAMAUDARC has availed an automatic liquid packaging machine, ultraviolet sterilizer, thermal batch/code printer, tubular heater, holding tank, batch pasteurizer, and many more.
The dairy farmers successfully conducted their first dairy production on October 25, 2023, producing a total of 485 liters of milk from October to November.
Currently, their fresh milk and chocolate milk are now on display in their processing plant and ready for sale and will soon be available at the Malaybalay City Agri Food Display.
The 1-liter fresh milk and choco milk are priced at Php 100.00 to Php110.00. Ongoing product development and innovation are being conducted and a product launching event will introduce the dairy milk products formally. DOST remains committed to supporting the project through additional consultancy services, like packaging and labeling, acquisition of FDA License to Operate and the Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program.