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Ice Cream production has been stopped for lack of powdered milk

In the middle of the panorama of tangible lacks of supplies in the trade and gastronomy network, Las Tunas Dairy Company begins the year with the challenge to face the shortages of raw materials and to diversify its productions by means of the best utilization of available resources.

Las Tunas, Cuba - Osmani Atencio Legrá, technical production director of the entity, assures 26 Digital that by 2020 they have projected an increase of around 1,500 tons more of soy yogurt than those produced in the previous period.

"Our company has become an industrial complex, with a modern infrastructure, which in the yogurt line experienced general maintenance, and injection of automated machinery, which has allowed us to grow in production plans," says Osmani.

"At the moment we are facing serious limitations with powdered milk. The ice cream factory has been out of operation because of that and some other demanded products are not being produced. As soon as we receive the resources, we will immediately start manufacturing them. Our priority is to maintain the supply of milk and yogurt for the basic basket.

"During this year we intend to achieve 10 tons per month of miragur, a new food, highly nutritious, based on whey, cornstarch, sugar and flavoring. Since we started distributing it in 2019, the people of Las Tunas have very well accepted it and we have managed to use the milk residues that were not used before in any process.

"The production of sweetened yogurt and mozzarella cheese is mainly intended to replace imports and to satisfy the demand of the local tourism facilities, along with ice cream. In the previous year, we produced around 100 tons of yogurt and around 240 tons of cheese; although in the latter, we did not manage to meet the plan.

"The Dairy Company is in a position to produce different types of cheese such as Cubanito, Caribbean, among other varieties, but the low capacity of the fridge hits us in this endeavor. By 2020, we plan to eliminate this obstacle and diversify our line of products in accordance with the precepts of the socialist state enterprise. In the face of any limitation, we can only overcome it and continue producing food for the population.

In accordance with the proposals of the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, during his visit to the province, on the need to preserve food safety, the company is in the process of completing the sanitary registration of the yogurt line. They have plastered the walls, created the sanitary services and are finalizing the details so that the process works under the regulated hygiene standards. Once this investment has been completed, the manager assures that they will register the other production lines.

The group of 550 workers works with a sense of belonging in the face of the challenge of obtaining a greater variety of products through the maximum use of the resources and raw materials of the territory, without reducing the quality.

WHY DO SO MANY BAGS OF MILK BREAK?

This question comes to us from many inhabitants who have witnessed puddles of milk near the points of sale because of the spillage of the regulated product, a luxury that the national economy is far from being able to afford.

Osmani Atencio Legrá explains to us the conditions that lead to this unfortunate incident, which takes place every day in our city.

"The company is not oblivious to the problem; we have not stood idly by. Since September 2019, we have faced serious problems with the polyethylene nylon that the country imports for milk and yogurt packaging.

"In the absence of the imported one, we are using the one produced domestically, which does not have the necessary characteristics for optimum sealing. We have made a series of adjustments to the sealing machines. It should be mentioned that the innovators' movement here has taken the task as a priority and has achieved variations, but even so, the thickness of the nylon used affects the seal.

"We are experiencing bag breakage from the first moment the machinery starts to pack, then when it goes to the coolers, then during the distribution to the different establishments. Once the spill occurs at the points, they report it to the Domestic Trade enterprise command post and the company replenishes the same amount after midday; but of course, that represents losses for us.

"We took the step of taking the soy yogurt in bulk to the municipalities so that we have a cover to be able to package the milk and yogurt of the head municipality.

"We are currently working on a new system of seals for the machinery, which will make it more watertight because we have no other solution in the short term. Unfortunately, the intensification of the blockade has reached every sphere of the economy and our goal is to move forward in the face of any obstacle and never to retreat".