Alexander van der Lely, CEO of Lely, introduced the concept during their Yellow Revolution event: “This new Lely Orbiter system will offer farmers a smart way to produce fair, direct, and pure dairy products and to increase the value of their milk. This on-farm dairy processor matches the high quality standards of large industrial-scale processors. The quality and taste of milk are safeguarded, because direct on-farm processing is much faster and offers a shorter route from cow to consumer. This innovative system is able to process the milk of small batches of cows separately, offering the farmer flexibility and efficiency. Consumers will be able to trace the produced dairy products back to individual cow family level.”
A fair future for farmers
The on-farm dairy processor is designed to be a future-proof solution for farmers to increase their milk income. They can increase the revenue of milk by adding more value to milk, having a short route to the consumer and the choice to market the milk themselves. The system allows farmers to differentiate in the dairy market and explore new opportunities. Higher revenues from milk also allows them to meet changing consumer demands and invest in a sustainable future for their farms.
Safeguarding quality with direct processing
The Lely Orbiter system will get milk directly from two to four Lely Astronaut milking robots and has been especially designed to handle a low flow of milk. This enables the system to start processing the milk fast, directly after milking, by cooling it down to 4 degrees Celsius. The continuous automated operation ensures a large capacity. The closed set-up of the system, coupled with the fact that there are very few processing steps and little time between milking and processing, guarantees both milk quality and food safety.
Milk in its purest form
The Orbiter system is able to facilitate and enable different taste experiences for consumers by offering dairy products in their purest form. The taste and ingredients of milk will vary according to cow breed, lactation phase, diet, the changing seasons and the choices made in processing. With the Orbiter, the farmer has total control to process milk from any selected group of cows. This allows the farmer to make choices about processing with the end product and consumer in mind. The reduced number of steps from the farm to the consumer create the freshness and purest taste of the product.
Introducing ‘Mijn Melk’
The current system is a working concept and has been operational for the past eight months on the Dobbelhoeve farm in Udenhout, the Netherlands. Today, at the Yellow Revolution event, the Dobbelhoeve farm and Lely introduced a unique milk product for consumers in the Netherlands: Mijn Melk. Mijn Melk, processed by the Lely Orbiter, offers consumers a pure unique taste experience which is traceable to specific cow families and will be available across the Netherlands in most Albert Heijn supermarkets as of 9 September 2018.
The next steps in automatic processing
Lely partnered with VME Engineering (part of the Niras group) to develop the Lely Orbiter. In the coming year Lely aims to install a small number of Lely Orbiter systems and will further explore the opportunities of direct processing in combination with robotic milking.
Read more about the Lely Orbiter on our website: www.lely.com/orbiter
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