6 July 2001


THINK of your milking parlour and dairy as a food factory and aim to maintain the highest standards including a full service and operational check of milking equipment twice a year.

Thats the advice of Mike Dunglinson and its in line with the demands being made on producers by the major milk buyers.

"I think we can expect to see the dairy building and its internal fittings, as well as the milking parlour itself, reflect the job they are doing – and thats producing food," says Mr Dunglinson.

"We have got to get away from make-do dairies. I know that some standards being imposed on dairy farmers by milk buyers are stringent and often considered unachievable on a working farm.

"I know that putting 150 cows through a parlour twice a day inevitably creates muck, so there has to be a broad understanding from milk buyers about the practicalities of milking cows. But I still think the image of the dairy and parlour can be improved."

And he believes that a more strict approach to visitor access to dairy farms may be something producers will have to consider.

"Its not unusual when you call on a farm to have to walk around the place looking for the producer. You probably pop your head in the parlour or walk through a building and think nothing of it.

"But, reflecting on this dreadful F&M crisis, that sort of access to farms must be curtailed to ensure disease risk is kept to a minimum and health standards are maintained.

"I have seen some strict standards imposed on farms in Holland and Germany and I think we may be heading that way too." &#42

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