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Pine Hill Dairy missing out?

shadiasimpson, shadiasimpson@nationnews.com

Added 30 January 2013


The recent negative reports regarding the island’s milk supply are most depressing. The cutback in milk quotas for farmers and threats that a considerable quantity of milk will have to be dumped make  me wonder if the management at Pine  Hill Dairy (PHD) can  do better. At this time of the year, tourist season, the dairy used to increase supplies to outlets due to (anticipated) increased consumption. How come the reverse has happened? We all know that  last year PHD introduced the new ultra pasteurized milk. The new taste did  not find favour with  all consumers,  and consumption  dropped – considerably. Apparently, there was no consumer market research beforehand; hence the dairy was caught between a rock  and a hard place –  falling sales and increasing supply. To its credit, PHD  did eventually offer marketing incentives:  buy one get one free, then buy two get one free. Also fresh (non-ultrapasteurised) milk was returned to the market and seems to have  found favour. But the problem continues. What is the dairy  now considering? Surely, there are several other dairy products that  could ease the situation  – as with numerous dairies overseas.  For instance: • What has happened to the cream Pine Hill used to offer (after obtaining favourable tax incentives from Customs on imported cream)? I have not seen it on the market for months –  yet it has a big price advantage over  imported products. • Why close the yogurt plant? This excellent price-competitive product is now sadly missed. • Whatever happened to the excellent ice cream PHD used to make? • Surely the dairy should consider getting into the cheese market, even cottage cheese  as a beginner. As Minister [Denis] Kellman said recently, some local production here could help our foreign reserves. • What happens to all the butterfat extracted from the two per cent milk. Is it used? • Perhaps butter production could  be tried. • Is powdered milk still being imported? With  the current excess supply of local milk, this could  be substituted, at least  in part. I would be most grateful for some answers to these questions and whether management  at PHD is looking for  a way to solve the “excess”  milk problem.  


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