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Improving the traditional way of making cheese in the north of Montenegro - Value Cheese

Improving the traditional way of making cheese in the north of Montenegro - Value Cheese

Objectives:

  • The action is designed towards improving the knowledge and production capacities of dairy producers in northern part of Montenegro. 
  • The aim of the action is to raise the practical and theoretical knowledge of trainers and dairy producers, to increase hygienic standards in the field and to boost overall competitiveness of the producers dealing with the traditional production of dairy products. 
  • In general, the action aims at boosting the production capacities used for the production of the traditional milk and cheeses and trough that the overall competitiveness of the whole region especially considering its significant touristic capacity.

Activities implemented:

  • This component envisaged the training of the research/scientific staff of the FFTFSE as well as representatives of the RDA (9 persons in total) in the areas of basic hygienic requirements for traditional food producers in terms of specific derogations for traditional foods according to the EC Regulation 2074/2005. One international expert was engaged to deliver the training, along with one higher representative on the national level, dealing with the harmonization of the legal framework with the EU acquis in this area. This activity enabled project staff to deepen the knowledge and practical experience in the area of adequate food production management, food safety and particularly specificities of the traditional food production.
  • Desktop and filed research into the cheese market of Montenegro; It is comprised out of desktop research and filed survey. On the basis of input documents and data currently available detailed strategy, the tools and questionnaires for the field research has been devised and determined. 
  • Based on the field research and interviews with the farmers the training of the dairy producers has been designed covering the topics most important for the farmers and dairy processors that are the stakeholders in the action. Training was held in Bijelo Polje and in the course of this 4-day training, the participants have had the opportunity to receive the information and deepen their knowledge in:
    • General Food Safety Requirements in dairy production and processing,
    • Overview of the prerequisite programs for food safety (Good Hygiene Practice- GHP and Good Manufacturing Practice- GMP),
    • Implementation of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) in the food production facilities,
    • HACCP documentation requirements,
    • Derogations from the Food Safety standards for small producers and producers of the traditional food products (focus on traditional cheese production),
    • Traditional cheese production technology,
    • The importance of creating the producer associations,
    • Possible quality labels,
    • How to make a business plan, valorize the production and apply for different types of subventions.

On the last day of the training, the group has visited a farm owned by Mr Vucko Pesic, a breeder and traditional cheese producer. Informative brochure and accompanying material containing the basic information about on farm hygiene, milk hygiene and basic hygiene practices during milk production and processing were delivered to producers.

  • The project team representatives have visited Eko Mont facility. Various modalities of cooperation between the former association and the producers present were discussed particularly, training of the dairy producers and in depth analysis of cheese production across farms; farmers need support in: better valorization of the primary production; know how in applying the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) in breeding and milk production; review of hygienic practices on farm; application of Good Hygiene Practice (GHP) in milk processing and cheese production; application of flexibility derogations in the area of food safety in on farm cheese production; marketing and placement of traditional cheese on the market- the stabile supply of quality and safe traditional cheeses.
  • The research/scientific staff of the FFTFSE analysed the existing cheese production technology at the premises of the project co-applicant Eko Mont d.o.o. Bijelo Polje with the aim of creation of an added-value high quality Specialty traditional cheese. The complete cheese production process was evaluated in terms of operations and equipment used. Currently, the cheese production highly depends on the market needs and significant improvements in technological process and hygiene practice are needed in order for this facility to become fully functional.
Budget:
20.385,19 €
Project beneficiary:
Faculty of Food Technology (UDG)
Duration:
15 months (02/09/2016-02/09/2017)
Type of contract:
Grant contract