TOPCO milk to be sold from this month; DDL explores large dairy farm in Guyana


Tropical Orchard Products Company Limited (TOPCO), a subsidiary of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL), will be selling packaged milk from this month as the company seeks to expand its product line.

TOPCO is known for its sale of fruit juices and drinks. Earlier this year, the company launched its new one litre juices and juice drinks.

A press release issued by DDL on Friday noted that the company is currently testing the production and packaging of reconstituted milk, ahead of the product’s commercial launch later this month.

Reconstituted milk, simply, is produced by adding water to the dried or concentrated form of drinking milk (that is, milk powder).

Beyond the commercial production of this reconstituted milk, however, the company noted that it is eyeing the establishment of a commercially viable dairy farm. This farm would be designed to supply the milk plant with fresh cow’s milk for pasteurisation and packaging.

Pasteurisation is the process of heating raw milk to remove any pathogens (bacteria or viruses that can cause diseases) from it.

And, DDL and the LR Group of Israel are currently undertaking a feasibility study for transitioning to the pasteurisation of the fresh cow’s milk and the establishment of the dairy farm. It is expected that local dairy farms would be able to participate in this venture.

The feasibility study and definition of the scope of the project is scheduled for completion in early 2022. This study forms part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the two companies in early June.

Joseph Harrosh, the Director of the LR Group, is visiting Guyana and recently met with the Board of Directors and executive management of DDL, headed by Chairman Komal Samaroo.

“The meeting viewed a presentation on the concept of the proposed project by Mr. Harrosh and a team of experts from Israel.

“A technical team from Israel will visit Guyana early next year to assess and make recommendations on land selection for the dairy farm and a structure for the participation of private farmers in the process,” the press release stated.

It is expected that the feasibility study will be subsequently finalised.

Meanwhile, the MOU also provides for the implementation of strategies to increase the supply of fruits and vegetables from local farmers.

This will be done through the provision of support services that promote best practices in crop selection, cultivation, disease control, harvesting, packaging and transportation to DDL’s TOPCO plant at Diamond.

It also provides for jointly pursuing other commercially viable projects in Guyana and the rest of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) that fit into the development priorities of member states and the region’s efforts to reduce its food import bill and ensure food security.

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