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Brazil has the potential to become the world's largest exporter of milk and dairy products in the future

Posted by Marina

The milk production chain today is one of the most complex activities of Brazilian Agribusiness, with social, economic and environmental importance. The country is the fourth largest world producer, with growth of 2% per year, moving more than 4 million workers, either in industries or in the field, with primary production.

On June 1st, World Milk Day is celebrated, and it is a good opportunity to pay attention to this sector, which has moved from importer to exporter status, with the potential to become, in the near future, the first in the world. world ranking.

“The milk chain in Brazil has become more professional, has reached new parameters of health and quality, and has gained competitiveness in the world market. Much is due to the work of veterinarians and zootechnicians. There was an evolution in quality in a very short time, with the use of new technologies, improvement of breeds, improved nutrition, in addition to stricter inspection and inspection rules ”, says the president of the Regional Council of Veterinary Medicine of the State of São Paulo (CRMV -SP), Mário Eduardo Pulga.

The Brazilian Society of Food and Nutrition (SBAN) highlights that milk and its derivatives constitute a group of foods of great nutritional value, as sources of high biological value proteins, vitamins and minerals - mainly calcium.

Although the Brazilian is consuming more milk and dairy products, per capita consumption is still below the recommended (three servings of dairy products per day). The average Brazilian consumes only 166 liters of milk per year. In 2020, however, growth in consumption of dairy products is expected.

In addition to the food itself, the chain consists of more than 90 products that contain milk or its protein. And care in raising animals and sanitary inspection of raw materials, industries and small producers are essential, especially to guarantee the health of the population, avoiding the transmission of zoonoses.

With the regulation of the Selo Arte, which allows artisanal products of animal origin that follow good agricultural and sanitary practices to be sold throughout the national territory, the sector will also benefit. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, approximately 170,000 artisanal cheese producers will be directly affected positively.

Sector potential

Just to get an idea of ​​the importance of the production chain, according to the “Anuário do Leite 2019”, of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), milk is produced in 99% of Brazilian cities, with 1.3 million producers and about two thousand legalized dairy industries. In 2018 alone, according to Embrapa Gado de Leite, 33.8 million liters were produced, 70% of the total production, around 24.4 million liters, inspected and marketed by the industry. In 2019, it is estimated that the sector closed with a 2.5% growth.

With an internal market with growth potential, Brazilian exports also stand out with the opening of the Chinese and Egyptian market in the last year. In 2019, according to data from the Foreign Trade Secretariat, exports totaled 22,500 tonnes of dairy products, an increase of 10.4% compared to the same period in 2018. This is due to the increase in shipments of fluid milk, butter and cream of milk. Imports had a 7.2% lower volume.

For the veterinarian and also president of the CRMV-SP's Technical Food Commission (CTA), Ricardo Calil, for this dimension, the chain needs to receive special attention in all areas, in order to realize the potential that Brazil has to be a major milk exporter. “We need to encourage cooperative programs and milk pasteurization to support small producers.”

“On World Milk Day, we have to clap and thank all the producers, especially the small ones, who work hard, waking up early and working daily to guarantee the milk and its by-products on the consumer's table. Always count on veterinarians and zootechnicians ”, emphasizes the president of CRMV-SP.

Advantages for A2A2 production

Available in countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the United States, A2A2 milk is closer to being included in the list of animal products on the Brazilian market. At the Animal Science Institute (IZ), linked to the São Paulo Department of Agriculture and Supply, research initiated in 2014 points to this.

The genetics work, from the crossing of animals and DNA analysis, resulted in a herd of 100 cows carrying the gene that leads the animals to produce milk containing beta-casein A2 which, according to studies, reduces risks of coronary problems, allergies and milk intolerance syndrome.

Even taking into account that abroad research on A2A2 milk started much earlier, in 2000, Brazil stands out for the majority of its cattle.

"The advantage is that in the country the Gir and Girolando breeds predominate in the dairy herd, whose prevalence of the gene is 80%, while in other countries the Dutch predominates, which has an incidence of 50% of the gene", says Dr. Enilson Geraldo Ribeiro, researcher at IZ.

Chain on alert

The president of CTA / CRMV-SP, Ricardo Calil, affirms that the production chain is especially alert at this moment due to the arrival of the coronavirus in the interior, where most of the producers are. “The milk chain, more specifically where the raw material is located, generally does not work with many people, and in the midst of a pandemic, there may be a shortage of labor,” he says.

Inspections are also compromised, with the postponement of visits to the second semester or even the decrease in frequency, worries veterinarian Wander Dias, a member of CTA / CRMV-SP.

For Dias, at this moment it is even more important the presence of the technical manager and the reinforcement of good practices in creations and dairy products so that there is no deviation in the quality standard of the final products, especially at this time when international markets are being conquered.

Brazilian cheese exports grew by 65% ​​in the last three years and, with the authorization of 24 establishments for export to the Chinese market, the sector is expected, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, to export US $ 4.5 million in cheese.

World Milk Day

World Milk Day was established in 2001 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO / UN), which chose June 1 to celebrate the important contributions of the dairy sector to sustainability, economic development, subsistence and nutrition. In 2018, the date was marked by 586 events in 72 countries, including Brazil.

Source: Notícias Agrícolas