In the mid 1980s, the milk surplus challenge inspired an engineer on a 300-cow kibbutz in Israel to develop a small pasteurizer that would serve as an anchor for miniaturized dairy processing. Surplus milk was brought daily to the small facility and was transformed into a wide range of dairy products. This bright idea developed into the production of small-scale equipment that was marketed under the name Pladot. In short, a mini-dairy processing concept that was developed BY farmers FOR farmers.
Today it allows small farm operations to produce a wide variety of dairy products, from yoghurt to soft cheeses, fresh milk, ice creams, hard cheese, kefir, butter and other specialty products based on milk. Any dairy farmer producing 1000 liters of milk per day or more can benefit from it. The company produces turnkey “mini-dairies” tailored specifically to the individual customer’s situation. It has already manufactured and installed some 400 systems in 26 countries worldwide, including in Israel and the USA.
Reason for the joint venture
Gevasol recently acquired Pladot’s metalworking activities. In addition, as an acknowledged R&D company Gevasol was impressed by Pladot’s expertise and technology and its commitment to this on-farm processing technique, but it also clearly identified a need for worldwide sales and after-market knowledge to develop this concept further. Gevasol and Lely already go back a long way. Gevasol is a strategic partner to Lely in valve and sensor development for its robotic products. Therefore it was a logical step for the two companies to decide to join forces.
This resulted in the establishment of a joint venture: Pladot Mini Dairy. This is a separate entity with dedicated management outside Gevasol and the Lely Group, whose aim is to make the technology for on-farm processing readily available for farmers worldwide while also addressing the need for training farmers in processing and marketing their consumer products.
This is a concept that goes beyond the activities in which the two companies have been involved to date.
Reason for Lely to invest in this joint venture
When asked about Lely’s reasons for entering into this joint venture, Aart van’t Land, Business Development Director at Lely, commented: “There is increasing interest on the part of both farmers and consumers for fresh, locally produced products. Pladot Mini Dairy is smart dairy processing that has been developed by farmers for farmers. It enables the development of dairy products with added value dedicated to meeting local needs. It also helps to strengthen the position of the farm in the local community. Supporting such developments is a crucial element of our vision of contributing to a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable future in farming. In addition, for Lely this joint venture will clearly give us more insight into dairy processing and will highlight further needs in relation for Lely’s wide range of products. From robotic milking to robotic feeding and advanced forage harvesting.”
The first priority for Pladot Mini Dairy is to set up a stand-alone, lean organization structure and, with obvious ongoing market interest in the concept, to define clear geographical areas of focus.
About the Lely Group
Lely, founded in 1948, directs all its efforts towards creating a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable future in farming for its customers. Lely is the only company worldwide to supply the agricultural sector with a complete portfolio of products and services ranging from forage harvesting to automated feeding systems, barn cleaners and milking robots. Lely is also working on business concepts to ensure energy-neutral operations in the dairy sector. Since many years Lely is the undisputed market leader in the sales and service of automated milking systems. The company has a strong position in forage harvesting products and with over 60 years acquired knowledge in the agricultural cycle Lely has an unrivaled position. The Lely Group is active in more than 60 countries and employs some 2,000 people. The annual turnover is 565 million euro. More information: www.lely.com.
For further information, please contact Els Versluis, Director Marketing & Communications Lely Group, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 31 (0)10 59 96 500.