24 March 19 Producers / Quality control

To ensure the safety of its products, Cremo implements a number of demanding quality control procedures throughout the production chain. The first link in the chain is the cow that produces the raw material, which is the milk. The milk producer who takes care of his herd must comply with strict hygiene regulations that are essential to guarantee food safety.

Specific requirements of Cremo have an additional objective, which is to pay the producers for their own milk rather than for the milk from a group of producers. These controls are therefore individual, and based on the actual quality of the milk from each producer.

Minimum requirements:

The regulations concerning quality assurance and control in the dairy industry (OQL) are applied very strictly by Cremo. The agreement on the terms of the milk contracts signed by the Swiss Milk Producers, Fromarte and the Swiss Dairy Industry (VMI) also serves as a basis for the milk quality payments.

- Milk that is sold must comply with the following requirements:

  Criteria Requirement
a Number of bacteria < 80 000 bacteria/ml
b Cell count < 350 000 cells/ml
c Inhibitor substances Non detectable
d Freezing point -0.520°C

- Every calendar year 24 analyses are carried out for each criterion.
- If all quality criteria are fulfilled at the same time a supplement is paid.
- If there are several complaints within a particular period a suspension of the milk delivery may be ordered.

Specific requirements applicable to the processing of milk:

Cremo has established specific criteria for the processing of milk. These analyses provide information about the quality of the milk collected and have therefore an influence on the price of the milk.

There are 2 categories of milk: milk from cows fed on silage and milk from cows not fed on silage, intended for the production of cheese from unpasteurized milk. These categories must meet the following specific criteria:

  Silage milk intended for production of milk products and milk powders/sweetened concentrates Non-silage milk intended for production of cheese made from unpasteurized milk.
Pre-incubated reductase
Bacteria content
Butyric bacteria content
Specific norms
Load of propionic bacteria
Acidification test
Free fatty acids

To protect those producers who produce particularly good quality milk, Cremo decided to introduce this new control system that became effective on 1st May 1995. If the milk from a producer is below standard, there is a risk that it will contaminate all the other milk when it is mixed together in the tank, thus penalizing all the other producers who have supplied the milk. Under this new system, each producer is paid individually for the milk he supplies.

Milk quality awards

Cremo offers awards to those suppliers who produce the best quality milk. The value of the prize increases according to the number of consecutive years as a supplier: a plaque after one year, a small bell for young cattle after five years and a bell with the producer’s name engraved on it after ten years.

Payment according to content

From as early as 1975, Cremo has been paying producers according to the “content” of the milk, and as far as possible individually. This way the corresponding “salaries” most accurately reflect the specific efforts of each producer.

Under the system of payment based on milk content that was introduced on 1st May 1994, the producer is paid according to the percentage of butterfat and protein contained in the milk delivered to Cremo. The company modified the system to focus more on the percentage of protein because it had noticed that there was a tendency for the butterfat content to increase while the protein content decreased. The decision was made to try to reverse this trend as in the future, the protein content was likely to be of greater importance in determining the price of the milk due to its nutritional value.

Monitoring of producers

Cremo carries out regular visits to the dairy farms of each producer. The company announces these visits in advance.

These visits are not additional quality control measures imposed by Cremo on the producers. They are rather opportunities to maintain a regular dialogue so that any potential weaknesses can be identified and solutions found to remedy them.

Quality control for milk delivered by third parties

For this milk Cremo applies rules set by the milk industry which are valid throughout Switzerland. Every delivery is inspected according to strict predefined criteria. The sum paid for the milk depends on its meeting these criteria.

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Réalisation Plurial