The public-private council will analyze export destinations for the country’s dairy products; it also aims to add value to the product’s serum. The Ministry of Agriculture, the National Milk Council, the Milk Industry Center and small producers from all over the country make up the new Permanent Private Public Council of the Dairy Industry.
The holder of Agriculture, Xavier Lazo, explained that the concrete actions will be to look for mechanisms to guarantee the stability of the sector in which distortions have been found, boost the internal consumption of milk and especially open new markets. As immediate measures, the deputy minister of the branch, Alexandra Peralta, added that from today will better equip the Agency for Regulation and Control Fito and Zoosanitario (Agrocalidad) to improve the controls of pure milk from its origin.
The National Agency for Health Regulation, Control and Surveillance (Arcsa) will also be strengthened so that the revision of dairy products on the hangers of supermarkets will be more effective. Another objective of the Board is to find mechanisms to add value to the serum and thus reduce product imports.
Rodrigo Gomez de la Torre, president of the Chamber of Agriculture of the First Zone, explained that the whey that is produced in the cheese factories of the country is currently discarded, when it could be implemented in new nutritious products, for athletes for example. For this reason, it supports the creation of the Council and the strengthening of sanitary controls, as this will guarantee good quality products for local and international industrialists.
The Council will work on three thematic panels that will analyze: the legal framework and the use of the components of the dairy chain, ways to increase competitiveness and open markets. In response to previous requests for the revision of the minimum support price, the Vice Minister ratified that the Ministerial Agreement 394 that establishes that item in $ 0.42 will be respected.
He acknowledged that sometimes this value is not met due to informality in the sector. But he said that “we will finish the informality with (opening) the market, when we have more milk consumption”. Juan Pablo Grijalva of the Association of Ranchers of Sierra y Oriente (AGSO) agreed with this vision, since he considers that the underlying problem is the lack of a market. (I)