About the campaign

Milk River is an awareness-raising promotional campaign, which is co-financed by the European Union. It was launched under the support programme Information and Promotion Measures for Agricultural Products in the first half of 2017. This campaign was commissioned by the Latvian Dairy Committee.

Milk processing is a well-developed sector in Latvia and stands out for wide range of products and excellent taste, and manufacturing processes and products that comply with the European standards, as well as traceable food production process, which ensures protection of final customers.

The campaign Milk River is directed towards non-EU markets to raise awareness of the distinctiveness of the EU-produced milk products and their high standards, which are applied to production methods with a view to increase product competitiveness and consumption and to raise their popularity outside the EU. The campaign stresses such properties of milk products like quality, taste and diversity.

The goal of this campaign is to promote the competitiveness of the EU-produced milk products and to increase their market share in countries like the USA, the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Azerbaijan, and China. The campaign speaks about several milk products – cheese, curd, curd snacks, yoghurts, UHT milk.

Latvian Dairy Committee (LDC)

The production of dairy products in Latvia has a long history, but the dairy industry rose to its true greatness only in the 19th century, when milk separators were invented, enabling the industrial processing of milk.

The roots of the Latvian Dairy Committee are to be found on the 24 July 1906, when the Central Latvian Agricultural Association was established, uniting 42 agricultural associations that intended to promote the development and modernization of agriculture, and to discover new market outlets.

The dairy industry suffered significant losses during the first World War, but the idea of creating a union for the associations of dairy farmers saw the light of day again in the spring of 1921 at the Smiltene Dairy Congress, which later came to be known as the Latvian Dairy Committee. The inaugural meeting was held on 18 August 1921. Milk was already considered to be a Latvian national treasure — the “white gold” — at the beginning of the last century, and the production and export of milk was a significant support to the national economy.

The Latvian Dairy Committee was dissolved after the loss of independence, and was re-established when the independence of Latvia was restored in 1995. Nowadays the organization is actively working on the development of the strategic importance of the dairy industry and on the development of export markets, but is not engaged in direct commercial activity. The Latvian Dairy Committee is a modern association of the industry that ensures the consolidation and defence of all stakeholders in the dairy industry, and maintains contacts with industry professionals around the world. Currently there are 12 participants in the committee, who produce approximately 80% of the total industrially processed milk in Latvia.


Telephone: +371 29 245 886
E-mail: info@piensaimniekusavieniba.lv
Homepage: http://www.piensaimniekusavieniba.lv
Address: Republikas laukums 2, LV-1010, Riga, Latvia

Chairman of the Board: Jānis Šolks
Members of Latvian dairy committee
  • AS "Cesvaines piens"
    AS "Cesvaines piens"

    Semi-hard and hard cheeses, biological cheeses and other dairy products of the highest quality.

  • AS "Jaunpils pienotava"
    AS "Jaunpils pienotava"
  • SIA "Jēkabpils piena kombināts"
    SIA "Jēkabpils piena kombināts"
  • AS "Lazdonas piensaimnieks"
    AS "Lazdonas piensaimnieks"
  • AS "Limbažu Siers"
    AS "Limbažu Siers"
  • AS "Rīgas piena kombināts"
    AS "Rīgas piena kombināts"

    Food Union Group is a leading multinational dairy company that includes the biggest milk processing and ice cream producing factories in Baltics. The Group also includes several European ice cream factories in Denmark, Norway, Romania and a Belarusian ice cream manufacturer.

    Food Union Group unites three major dairy and ice cream producers in Latvia — RĪGAS PIENA KOMBINĀTS, VALMIERAS PIENS and RĪGAS PIENSAIMNIEKS.

    RĪGAS PIENA KOMBINĀTS is the largest dairy and ice cream producer in Latvia and one of the largest in the Baltic States. Product portfolio: ice cream, butter, sour cream, UHT cream and milk, cream cheeses, yogurts and cottage cheese. Main brands: Ekselence, Pols, Nu, Tio, Rasa, Rasēns, Lakto.

    RĪGAS PIENSAIMNIEKS is one of the largest dairy producers in the
    Baltic States, supplying a wide range of products to the retail and food service sectors. Product portfolio: cottage cheese, sweet curd snacks, dairy desserts, yogurts, fresh and processed cheeses, aseptic drinks and ice lollies. Main brands: Kārums, Dzintars, Jungle Pop.

    VALMIERAS PIENS is a milk processing factory based in Latvia. Product portfolio: sour cream, butter, sweet cream, yogurts, cottage cheese, cheese and dry milk products. Main brands: Limbažu piens, Valmiera.

    Main markets: Latvia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Estonia, The Netherlands, Great Britain, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Israel, Norway, USA.

    Certificates in use: ISO 9001, HACCP.

  • SIA "Rīgas piensaimnieks"
    SIA "Rīgas piensaimnieks"

    One of the three Food Union Group companies in Latvia.

  • AS "Talsu piensaimnieks"
    AS "Talsu piensaimnieks"

    Talsu dairy producer was established in 1922 by merging several dairy producers. It was the beginning of the later "Talsu piensaimnieks", which is best known for its cheese Talsu ritulis. Product portfolio: milk, kefir, cottage cheese, butter, cheese, cream, and biological dairy products.

  • AS "Tukuma piens"
    AS "Tukuma piens"

    The taste preferences of consumers is the best guide to the rich world of dairy products. AS "Tukuma piens" is a company proud of 100 years of experience. The knowledge and skills gained during this period are vital for producing healthy and tasty dairy products of the highest quality. More than 300 traditional dairy products under the trademark Baltais is an irreplaceble source of positive energy. The main brands popular both in Latvia and abroad include: Baltais, Baltais Eko, Exporta, Baltais Protein, Fetahi, etc. The product line Baltais Eko with yogurts, cottage cheese and chocolate-covered curd snacks are the best-quality ecological dairy products made of local Latvian biological milk, fruits and berries, these products do not contain artificial food dyes, flavourings and preservatives. Baltais dairy products are found among the dairy products of the highest-quality.

  • AS "Valmieras piens"
    AS "Valmieras piens"

    One of the three Food Union Group companies in Latvia.

News
  • PARTICIPATION IN GULFOOD 2019 FAIR 2019-05-11
    PARTICIPATION IN GULFOOD 2019 FAIR

    17-21 February 2019. The 24th international annual food and beverage trade exhibition GULFOOD 2019, at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    PARTICIPATION IN GULFOOD 2019 FAIR

    Within framework of the project Milk River, for the first time the Latvian Central Union of Dairy Producers (LCUDP) participated in the large scale exhibition Gulfood, which is one of the largest food and beverage trade events in the world. The vast five days long exhibition took up 1’000’000 square feet of exposition area, attracting high level of interest of people from all corners of the world. The total number of participants with expositions at the exhibition was around 5000 and it was attended by about 93’000 professional visitors.

    Information about the exhibition:
    https://www.gulfood.com/

  • PARTICIPATION IN SIAL ME 2018 FAIR 2019-04-07
    PARTICIPATION IN SIAL ME 2018 FAIR

    10–12 December 2018. The international professional food trade fair SIAL ME 2018, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    PARTICIPATION IN SIAL ME 2018 FAIR

    The Milk River project participated in the professional food industry trade fair SIAL ME for the second year. SIAL ME is the Middle East project of SIAL, the world‘s leading network of agriculture and food industry fairs. More than 40 countries were represented at the fair that was visited by over 28,000 industry professionals. The visitors included representatives of national and international organisations and wholesale buyers specifically invited by the organisers. The Milk River brand offered to the Gulf markets fine dairy products made by the European Union producers – soft cheeses, cream cheese and processed cheese, sour cream, sweet cream, curds, curd snacks, yogurts, yogurt and protein drinks and ice-cream.

    Information about the trade fair:
    https://sialme.com/

  • ORGANISATION OF PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS IN TEL AVIV, ISRAEL 2019-04-07
    ORGANISATION OF PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS IN TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

    On 28 November 2018 a tasting session of the EU-made dairy products for potential cooperation partners in the Middle East was organised in Tel Aviv at the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the State of Israel.

    ORGANISATION OF PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS IN TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

    The tasting session of the EU-made dairy products in Tel Aviv was organised for the purpose of in-person high-level networking with the representatives of leading wholesale networks and food industry institutions in the Middle East, the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, the diplomatic corps and the opinion leaders. Appetizers created by leading Israeli chefs using the EU-made dairy products were served to the participants as part of the tasting session.

  • PARTICIPATION IN ISRAFOOD 2018 FAIR 2019-04-07
    PARTICIPATION IN ISRAFOOD 2018 FAIR

    27–29 November 2018. The international food trade fair ISRAFOOD 2018, Tel Aviv Convention Center in Tel Aviv, Israel.

    PARTICIPATION IN ISRAFOOD 2018 FAIR

    The Milk River project participated in the Israel’s largest professional trade show for the food and beverage industry with a large exhibition of an original design already for the second year in a row. Fifteen countries were represented at the fair by more than 180 stands, and the trade show was visited by over 200,000 industry professionals. ISRAFOOD is the main platform for establishing professional contacts in Israel’s food industry and hospitality business. The Milk River brand brought to the trade fair in Israel dairy products made by the European Union producers – cheese, cream cheese and processed cheese, sour cream, curds, curd snacks and ice-cream.

    Information about the trade fair:
    http://www.stier.co.il/israfood/en/

  • PARTICIPATION IN RESTAURANT & BAR HONG KONG 2018 FAIR 2019-04-07
    PARTICIPATION IN RESTAURANT & BAR HONG KONG 2018 FAIR

    4–6 September 2018. The international fine dining and bar exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

    PARTICIPATION IN RESTAURANT & BAR HONG KONG 2018 FAIR

    The Milk River project had a guest status at the trade fair and participated in the collective stand of local importers. Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong is a trade fair exclusively for professionals with a focus on the markets of Hong Kong, Macau and the Guangdong province in continental China, and attracted more than 300 exhibitors. Supported by over 20 professional associations of the region and 49 international specialized food and beverage media, Restaurant & Bar Hong Kong is considered a leading trade show in the restaurant and bar business in the Asia-Pacific region. The trade fair was visited by around 20,000 industry representatives.

    Information about the trade fair:
    https://www.restaurantandbarhk.com/rbhk/

  • PARTICIPATION IN SUMMER FANCY FOOD 2018 FAIR 2019-04-07
    PARTICIPATION IN SUMMER FANCY FOOD 2018 FAIR

    30 June–2 July 2018. North America’s largest specialty food and beverages trade fair SUMMER FANCY FOOD SHOW NEW YORK CITY 2018, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York, U.S.

    PARTICIPATION IN SUMMER FANCY FOOD 2018 FAIR

    The Latvian Dairy Committee became a member of the U.S. Specialty Food Association in 2018. The Milk River project participated with a stand-alone display stand of an original design located in one of the busiest sections of the trade show. The Milk River stand at the U.S. trade fair featured dairy products made by the European Union producers – cheese, cream cheese and processed cheese, butter, sour cream, curds, curd snacks and ice-cream. Over 2,400 companies had their own stands at the trade fair, and eight U.S. states and 48 countries were represented by collective stands. The fair was visited by more than 34,000 industry representatives, including several thousand wholesale buyers and purchasing managers of major retail chains.

    Information about the trade fair:
    https://www.specialtyfood.com/shows-events/summer-fancy-food-show/

  • ORGANISATION OF DAIRY PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS IN BAKU, AZERBAIJAN 2019-04-07
    ORGANISATION OF DAIRY PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS IN BAKU, AZERBAIJAN

    On 17 May 2018 a tasting session of the EU-made dairy products for potential cooperation partners in the Caspian Sea region was organised in Baku in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

    ORGANISATION OF DAIRY PRODUCT PRESENTATIONS IN BAKU, AZERBAIJAN

    The tasting session of the EU-made dairy products was organised for the purpose of in-person networking with the representatives of Azerbaijan’s leading wholesale networks and food industry institutions, the diplomatic corps and the opinion leaders.

  • PARTICIPATION IN WORLDFOOD 2018 FAIR 2019-04-07
    PARTICIPATION IN WORLDFOOD 2018 FAIR

    16–18 May 2018. The international food industry fair WORLD FOOD AZERBAIJAN 2018, Baku Expo Centre, in Baku, Azerbaijan.

    PARTICIPATION IN WORLDFOOD 2018 FAIR

    The Milk River project participated in the largest food industry fair of the Caspian Sea region with a large free-standing exhibition stand of an original design that was visited by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. There were 207 companies from 20 countries represented at the fair, and the opening conference drew 30 representatives of the region’s largest news channels and mass media. According to the statistics provided by the organisers of the fair, more than 8,200 industry professionals from 40 countries visited the fair. The Milk River stand featured dairy products made by the European Union producers – cheese, sour cream, curds, curd snacks, yogurts and yogurt drinks and milk-derived protein shakes.

    Information about the trade fair:
    https://worldfood.az/

  • Participation at SIAL ME 2017 2018-01-29
    Participation at SIAL ME 2017

    12-14 December 2017. International Food Exhibition SIAL ME 2017 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Participation at SIAL ME 2017

    Through its strategy development and increase in growth (+16 % visitors in comparison to the previous year), SIAL ME has becomes one of the fastest-growing food, beverage and hospitality events in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). The exhibition had 30 national pavilions bringing together 900 visitors and 16 000 trade visitors and representatives, and 500 representatives from the unique SIAL ME Hosted Buyers programme, i.e. VIP-level buyers. All of which makes this exhibition an important platform for establishing new cooperation contacts and a place for potential export opportunities.

    Latvian milk producers used this opportunity to take part in a meeting with buyers from the Hosted Buyers programme who represented milk processing industry. Regional food and hospitality industry professionals showed great interest in the wide assortment of dairy products from Europe which demonstrates good future prospects for seizing export opportunities in MENA market.

    Information about the exhibition:
    https://sialme.com/

  • Participation at ISRAFOOD 2017 2018-01-29
    Participation at ISRAFOOD 2017

    28-30 November 2017. 34th Exhibition for Food and Beverage ISRAFOOD 2017 at the Tel Aviv Convention Center in Tel Aviv, Israel.

    Participation at ISRAFOOD 2017

    In 2017, we successfully started implementing the European Union (EU) project for the entering of new markets outside the EU, thus giving manufacturers an opportunity to offer their products to a wider range of buyers. We carry out project activities under MILK RIVER brand which is created specifically for the implementation of this project. The first public activity within the framework of the project was the participation at ISRAFOOD 2017.

    ISRAFOOD is the main and most important trade event for the food and beverage industry in Israel. This exhibition is the main platform for professional and business encounters between manufacturers and importers, and representatives of the institutional, professional, retail chain sectors as well as the private sector. This exhibition is open only for professionals who, directly or indirectly, represent the food and beverage industry. On average, over 18 000 specialists, including business leaders and professional buyers visit it.

    During the exhibition, we examined the Middle Eastern market characteristics and prospects we must take into account when exporting products to the countries in this region. Also, we established possible new export cooperation contacts and expanded our communication efforts with the existing business partners of Latvian entrepreneurs in Israel.

    During ISRAFOOD 2017, Latvian milk manufacturers also held a meeting with business representatives at the Embassy of Latvia in Israel, Tel Aviv where product presentations to buyers, representatives of food retail chains and other potential cooperation partners within the export market segment took place.

    Information about the exhibition:
    http://www.stier.co.il/israfood/en/

How are dairy products made?

Production of Milk

What’s in Milk?

 

Milk Processing

 

Milk Quality Control

Variety of European dairy products (percentage of fat content in the product)
MILK ~ 4%*
Separating
SKIMMED MILK
Opinions on dairy products
  • Healthy products of the highest quality matching the EU standards is a result of outstanding and most stable values, experience and knowledge combined with the modern innovations in dairy industry. To ensure healthy society it is crucial to guarantee high food quality constantly, and this can only be secured by applying safe and approved control mechanisms. Consumers must be aware of what they consume, including dairy products, and milk processing establishments perform just excellent in this regard. Only the best and most healthy dairy products that are safe for daily use are made of the top-quality milk here, on the coast of the Baltic Sea.

    Lolita Neimane, dietician, Chair of Board of the Latvian Diet and Nutrition Specialist Association

  • Did you know that dairy products provide your body with calcium and protein the most? Therefore, we as professional chefs use dairy products in different dishes, offering our clients the best tastes to ensure that neither children, nor adults would get tired of these products.

    Gatis Grosbergs, Head Chef of Gourmet Cooking School in Riga, Latvia

  • Live longer, feel better and lose weight! Dairy products improve your health and taste good. Do you need more reasons to include dairy products in your menu?

    Raitis Ivanovs, Head Chef of Gourmet Cooking School in Riga, Latvia

  • It is important for active people to take care of their body and proper diet. Such products as curd, and kefir that I often use daily include all the necessary nutrients and proteins that allow me to keep fit and provide the best for my body on my way to excellent results.

    Annija Kopštāle, ballet soloist, Latvian National Opera and Ballet

  • Milk is a natural treasure we have to learn to use wisely. Benefits of milk include calcium, magnum, iron, phosphor, potassium, A, D, K, E, C, B1, B2, P vitamins and the high content of protein, as well as other useful nutrients. Milk products are especially advised for athletes and children, as well as older people for prophylaxis of osteoporosis.

    Curd is one of the most valuable milk products as it contains all the irreplaceable amino acids, methionine, lysine, and holin. Methionine, for example, activates elimination of cholesterol, delaying development of atherosclerosis. Lysine and holin stimulate metabolism and liver function.

    Of course, it is advisable to chose low-fat milk products, without preservatives and sugar.

    Dr. Ārija Bušmane, Family Doctor, occupational physician, Head of Health and Beauty Centre Adoria

Laws, Regulations, and Labelling

In Europe, production of milk products is regulated by specific laws and regulations that include national and international laws and regulations. General food laws and veterinary laws also apply to the milk industry as only a healthy herd that has been bred in line with the provided welfare requirements provides quality products.

Laws and Regulations Governing Labelling of Foodstuffs

Labelling of foodstuffs has been developed to guarantee that consumers would have complete information on the contents of foodstuffs and they would be able to protect their health and interests.

• Council Directive 2000/13/EC includes general provisions on labelling of foodstuffs, as well as governs certain aspects in regard to packaging and advertising of foodstuffs.
• European Parliament and Council Directive 2003/89/EC amending Directive 2000/13/EC provides indication of the ingredients present in foodstuffs.
• Council Directive 90/496/EC provides energy value and nutrition (for example, protein, carbohydrates, fat, fibre, sodium, and vitamins and minerals) on labelling for foodstuffs that has been amended by Commission Directive 2003/120/EC.

Laws and Regulations Governing Hygiene of Foodstuffs

• EU Food Law (Regulation No.178/2002) lays down the general principles and requirements, and procedures of food law.
• Regulation No.852/2004 of hygiene of foodstuffs provides requirements for all participants of food chain (in all food production, processing, and distribution stages, as well as for imports, primary production, wholesale, and retail sales of foodstuffs).
• European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No.853/2004 lays down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin.

Official Control of Foodstuffs

• Commission Regulation (EC) No.2073/2005 of 15 November 2005, on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs.
• European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No.854/2004 laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption.
• Commission Regulation (EC) No.2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs.
• European Parliament and Council Regulation (EU) No.2017/625 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products.

Food Additives

• European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No.1333/2008 on food additives.
• Commission Regulation (EU) No.1274/2013 of 6 December 2013 amending and correcting Annexes II and III to
Regulation (EC) No.1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council and the Annex to Commission Regulation (EU) No.231/2012 as regards certain food additives.

Laws and Regulations Governing Flavouring of Foodstuffs

• Regulation (EC) No.1334/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on flavourings and certain food ingredients with flavouring properties for use in and on foods and amending Council Regulation (EEC) No.1601/91, Regulations (EC) No.2232/96 and (EC) No.110/2008 and Directive 2000/13/EC (tex with EEA relevance).
• Regulation (EC) No.1331/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing a common authorisation procedure for food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings.
• Regulation (EC) No.2232/96 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down a Community procedure for flavouring substances used or intended for use in or on foodstuffs.

Food Enzymes

• Commission Regulation (EU) No.1056/2012 of 12 November 2012 amending Regulation (EC) No.332/2008 of the
European Parliament and of the Council on food enzymes with regard to transitional measures.
• Regulation (EC) No.1331/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing a common authorisation procedure for food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings.
• Regulation (EC) No.1332/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on food enzymes and amending Council Directive 83/417/EEC, Council Regulation (EC) No.1493/1999, Directive 2000/13/EC, Council Directive 2001/112/EC and Regulation (EC) No.258/97.
• Commission Regulation (EU) No.234/2011 of 10 March 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No.1331/2008 of the
European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common authorisation procedure for food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings.
• Commission Regulation (EU) No.1130/2011 amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No.1333/2008 of the European
Parliament and of the Council on food additives by establishing a Union list of food additives approved for use in food additives, food enzymes, food flavourings and nutrients.
• Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No.562/2012 amending Commission Regulation (EU) No.234/2011 with regard to specific data required for risk assessment of food enzymes.

Production and Processing of Foodstuffs

• Regulation (EC) No.178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the
European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety.
• Regulation (EU) No.1308/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No.922/72, (EEC) No.234/79, (EC) No.1037/2001 and (EC) No.1234/2007.
• Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No.931/2011 on the traceability requirements set by Regulation (EC) No.178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council for food of animal origin.
• Commission Regulation (EC) No.37/2005 on the monitoring of temperatures in the means of transport, warehousing and storage of quick-frozen foodstuffs intended for human consumption.

Materials and Articles Intended to Come into Contact with Food

• Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1906 amending Regulation (EC) No. 282/2008 on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods.
• Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/174 amending and correcting Regulation (EU) No.10/2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (text with EEA relevance).
• Commission Regulation (EU) No.10/2011 on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food.

Organic Farming

• Council Regulation (EC) No.834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No.2092/91.
• Commission Regulation (EC) No.889/2008 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No.834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products with regard to organic production, labelling and control.

Institutions Monitoring Production of Foodstuffs, Including Milk Processing Industry in Latvia

Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Latvia
https://www.zm.gov.lv/en/

Food and Veterinary Service
https://www.zm.gov.lv/en/partikas-un-veterinarais-dienests/statiskas-lapas/startpage?nid=2531#jump

Rural Support Service
http://www.lad.gov.lv/en/about-us/general-information/general-information/

Agriculture Data Centre
http://www.ldc.gov.lv/en

Terms:

Regulation - is a regulatory enactment that imposes obligations and is directly applicable in all Member States.

Directive - is a regulatory enactment that imposes obligations to the Member States in regard to goals to be achieved, however, the national institutions are entitled to chose means to achieve these goals. The Member States transpose the directives into their national law.

Quality and certification

Quality of foodstuffs is a set of features that ensure compliance of foodstuffs with the needs of a consumer and certain requirements of laws and regulations. In Europe and in the world, several globally accepted quality standards are applied that verify companies’ compliance with certain quality management systems.

ISO 9001 is the most universal and globally known standard for companies operating in any industry. Compliance with this standard shows that a company takes care of quality of their goods and services, maintains its quality management system on a certain level, regularly performs an independent audit, and verifies the efficiency of its system by a certificate. ISO 9001 is basis for a successful development.

HACCP (Hazard Analyses and Critical Control Points) - analyses of hazards and critical control points. HACCP is a self-control system for safe and harmless food chain that includes monitoring and analysis of each phase of the chain, provides food chain phases critical (hazardous) for food safety and harmlessness, and introduces efficient control and monitoring procedures for these phases. The goal of the HACCP is to ensure harmlessness (safety) and quality of food. Implementation of the HACCP system allows reducing costs for preventive measures to be taken to ensure safety of the
end product, including costs for environmental and laboratory inspections.

The HACCP system is based on seven principles that provide a sequence of actions for identification and prevention of hazards:
1. Hazard analysis;
2. Determine the critical control points;
3. Establish critical limits;
4. Establish monitoring procedures;
5. Establish corrective actions;
6. Establish verification procedures;
7. Establish record-keeping and documentation procedures.

GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) - a high level skill in all food manufacturing stages, with a special emphasis on stages impacting the quality of foodstuffs.

Principles of the GMP:
• To document manufacturing, evaluation, and management of the respective foodstuff ensuring the specific quality;
• To apply correct, trusted, and practically tested manufacturing methods and technologies;
• A set of correct manufacturing, evaluation, and management actions (procedures);
• Development and compliance with practical instructions (recommendations);
• Development and compliance with specific regulations;
• The developed regulations are available at the international professional bodies;
• Practical recommendations developed by professional organisations.

GHP (Good Hygiene Practice) - a set of rules with the goal to protect human life and health. General principles and
procedures have been provided in EC Regulation No.852/2004 On the Hygiene of Foodstuffs.

The main principles incorporated in the Regulation:
• Market participants involved in the food chain are the main responsible for the harmlessness of foodstuffs;
• Harmlessness of foodstuffs shall be ensured in all phases of food chain, starting with primary production;
• It is significant to retain the cold chain for foodstuffs that cannot be stored in the temperature of surrounding
environment, especially for frozen foodstuffs;
• To implement the procedures developed on the basis of the HACCP principles and to apply hygiene practice, the
responsibility of market participants involved in the food chain has to be increased;
• The best practice in all phases of food chain can help the market participants to comply with the hygiene regulations and HACCP principles.

In regards to milk processing procedure, requirements for collection and transportation of milk, storage of milk, thermal processing of milk, production of different milk products, their packaging, as well as storage of milk products, their sales and transportation have been provided. The cold chain is of significance, determining temperature for storage of milk and milk products, starting from extraction of milk to labels for the end consumer of milk products.

BRC (British Retail Consortium Global Standard for Food Safety) - a globally accepted standard developed in the United Kingdom verifying compliance of foodstuffs with the highest criteria. In the global market of foodstuffs, the BRC standard is considered as an example of best practices applicable to production of foodstuffs. It is one of the strictest standards of harmlessness of foodstuffs and quality management applied voluntarily. To obtain the BRC certificate, a company has to comply with the HACCP, has to have a documented quality management system and good production practice.

IFS (International Food Standard) - a standard certification programme developed in Germany, within the framework of which companies are certified and it is acknowledged that companies comply with the principles of harmlessness and quality requirements. Requirements of safe storage and distribution are complied with in the food storage and delivery chain, within the framework of which risks are assessed and action programmes are developed to ensure the consumers receive safe and quality foodstuffs.

FDA (Food and Drug Administration) - responsible for quality control of foodstuffs and medicines in the USA. The Administration issues compliance certificate to producers that intend to export foodstuffs to the USA thereby verifying compliance with the FDA principles and evaluation of compliance. To sell foodstuffs in the USA, the production facility has to be registered on the FDA website and obtain a registration number. The FDA assesses samples of products and clarifies their contents and harmlessness. Some ingredients that are allowed in the EU are not allowed in the USA market and vice versa. Moreover, the FDA assesses the packaging of foodstuffs in line with the FDA regulations. The FDA also controls compliance of information on the labelling of foodstuffs.

Harmlessness and Traceability of Foodstuffs

Foodstuffs that do not harm the human health, life, or environment is harmless. In line with the laws and regulations of the European Union (EU), the policy of harmless foodstuffs facilitates protection of health and competitiveness of market. For this purposes, common control standards have been developed in Europe governing production of harmless foodstuffs and ensuring their traceability, from extraction of ingredients to the end consumer.

Policy of Harmlessness

In line with EC Regulation No.178/2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) whose main task is to assess all threats related to food chain and provide information on them. The Regulation provides the principle of prudence, approach to risk assessment, and provides general regulations in regard to traceability of foodstuffs and animal feed.

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) is applicable in Europe. It allows the institutions responsible for the protection of public health to exchange information quickly on risks related to foodstuffs and animal feed. Thereby all members of the RASFF can act accordingly to protect consumers as efficient as possible. In addition, an on-line application iRASFF operates where you can send new messages on products causing threats or follow messages sent by other members.

Traceability of Foodstuffs

If foodstuffs cannot be traced, threats are caused to the operations of internal market of foodstuffs. Traceability of foodstuffs has a great significance in protection of public health and in facilitating fair and responsible sales of foodstuffs. Every company engaged in production of foodstuffs, needs to have a tracing system that includes such parameters as accompanying documents, identification and accounting of foodstuffs, labelling of foodstuffs and internal documentation of a company.

EC Regulation No.178/2002 provides that traceability of foodstuffs is an ability to trace and find any food, feed, productive animals, or substance that is planned to be or might be added to food or feed in all production, processing, and distribution phases.

Goals of Traceability:
• To ensure harmless and quality foodstuffs in the market;
• To ensure fast removal of hazardous foodstuffs from the market and reduce costs in the event of removal;
• To provide accurate information to consumers on the specific product;
• To increase operational efficiency of companies;
• To comply with the requirements of international and national laws.

According to EC Regulation No.178/2002, those involved in the food chain have to be able to identify any person that has supplied or to whom they have supplied foodstuffs and any other substances that are planned to be or that might be added to foodstuffs. In addition, systems and procedures that ensure fast provision of information to control institutions upon their request have to be implemented.

Traceability of foodstuffs in Europe is based on the principle “One Step Up / One Step Down” that helps to answer questions “When?”, “Where?” and “From where?”.

Four Stages of Traceability:
1. Identification – identifies the direct suppliers and clients to whom products have been supplied (except for direct end users).
2. Documentation – a system providing information on the supplier of raw materials (link “supplier – product”) and system that provides information on products supplied to consumers (link “client – product”).
3. Coordination and management – coordination of the above systems.
4. Communication – communication with all parties involved in the food chain and, if necessary, with the supervising institutions.

Information that companies involved in the food chain must indicate in line with EC Regulation No.931/2011:
• An accurate description of the food;
• The volume or quantity of the food;
• The name and address of the food business operator from which the food has been dispatched;
• The name and address of the consignor (owner) if different from the food business operator from which the food has been dispatched;
• The name and address of the food business operator to whom the food is dispatched;
• The name and address of the consignee (owner), if different from the food business operator to whom the food is dispatched;
• A reference identifying the lot, batch or consignment, as appropriate;
• The date of dispatch.

Benefits of traceability for the end consumer of product:
• Information on the producer;
• Information on the origin of product;
• Information on production date and expiry date;
• Information on the ingredients, including allergens and GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms);
• Information on the used food additives;
• Information on price.

Purchase opportunities

Thanks to the high quality, products produced by the European milk processing companies is highly demanded export good around the globe. The wide range of various products allows to choose products from different regions of Europe. The products from Northern Europe are especially popular. The population density in the region is not high and the region has retained natural and green environment, not affected by the industrial plants, that allows extracting high quality milk.

We offer cooperation opportunities to food industry professionals, distributors, wholesalers, HORECA representatives. We will prepare an offer that includes products from the leading milk processing companies that comply the best with the needs of market you represent.

Milk products made in Europe can be found all over the world, in the Middle East, Asia, and elsewhere. For the end users, this provides an opportunity to purchase a wide range of milk product assortment that is provided by the largest store chains. In this website, we suggest you to familiarise yourself with the products of trade mark MILK RIVER and if your local store does not sell them, we invite you to inform the merchants on the purchase opportunities and expansion of assortment including new, excellent quality milk products from Europe.