By Leman Mammadova
Milk processing is one of the potential spheres, since milk and other dairy products may constitute a significant share in Azerbaijan’s non-oil sector. All dairy products are considered vital for food security of the country.
Moreover, export oppotunities are high and soon Azerbaijan may launch sales of its dairy products to Saudi Arabia.
This was said by Samir Eyyubov, chairman of the Azerbaijan’s Association of Producers and Exporters of Milk and Dairy Products (ASEB), Trend reported.
He mentioned that two Azerbaijani companies export dairy products: “Atena” company to Middle East, and MPro to Russia.
Eyyubov noted that the main issue is provision of the domestic market with milk and dairy products, as well as implementation of new standards for this product. He added that steps are being taken to stimulate the development of dairy cattle breeding in the country.
ASEB, established on January 26, 2018 with an aim to support the development of entrepreneurship in the production of milk and dairy products, to increase export and production volumes, as well as introduce new technologies to this sphere. Any legal entity or individual engaged in the field of milk and dairy production can become a member of the association by providing relevant documents.
Azerbaijan’s Association of Producers and Exporters of Milk and Dairy Products (ASEB) plans to introduce new standards for these products in the country. Azerbaijan needs to promote such a concept as “farm milk”. That is milk and dairy products manufactured in compliance with the necessary standards. Special logos should be on packages of finished products to this end.
Earlier, Azerbaijan’s Food Safety Agency said that there are several standards in Azerbaijan related to the dairy products. There is a standard AZS 236-2006 “Sour milk products. Packaging, marking, transportation, storage”. In accordance with this standard, sour milk products, especially perishable goods, must be stored at the temperature 0 – 8ºC.
Milk production in the country in 2017 amounted to 2.0241 million tons. Azerbaijan has about 10 large dairy processing enterprises with annual production capacity of over 5,000 tons. Almost all types of dairy products – pasteurized milk, butter, cream, cottage cheese, cheese, sesame and milk powder are produced there.
As many as 85 percent of domestic demand for these products is provided by local producers, while about 15 percent is met by imported goods.
For 2019, milk production is projected at 2.219 million tons, in 2020 – 2.39 million tons, in 2021 – 2.49 million tons. Thus, by 2022, an increase of 18.6 percent might be observed compared to 2017.
Azerbaijan currently cooperates with U.S. in milk processing. Thus, a newly renovated milk collection and processing facility opened in Guneshli village in Saatli. The facility will produce the first ever yellow cheese in Azerbaijan.