Since 2000, Colanta radically changed its breeding objectives due to the low performance of the cheese. They wanted to make the transition from milk producers to dairy producers. At that time they used predominantly bulls from United States (US), but the percentage of protein was not satisfactory. Facing this challenge, they started to work more often with VikingGenetics and that is something they want to continue with to increase the quality of milk even more.
After a visit to VikingGenetics in Denmark and herd visits in Denmark and Sweden in June 2016, the AI-program coordinator of Colanta, Juan Fernando Vásquez Cano, states that they definitely want to increase its business by working more closely with VikingGenetics.
“We have had increases in milk protein level and today we reach a modest level of protein at 3.2%.
This contrasts with the VikingHolstein cows in Sweden and Denmark that have 3.6-3.8% and there are cows with more than 4.5% protein and over 8,000 kilos of milk per lactation. We definitely have a lot of work to be done”, Vázquez Cano summarizes. Vázquez was also impressed by the dedication and focus that VikingGenetics, the dairy farmers and authori-ties give to the health level in the herd.
“We admire the attention and concern of the government and dairy farmers regarding the cow’s health. We are impressed of the somatic cell counts and genetic selection for udder health, in which VikingGenetics is pioneer, as well as the strict registration protocols of the hoof trimmers,” he states.
He also emphasizes the important role the control in the use of drugs as well as the focus in health played to declare the Nordic countries free from diseases that still concern the Co-lombian farmers, such as the Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD) and the Infectious Bovine Rhi-notracheitis (IBR). “We still have a lot work to do in this”, he says.
Colanta synonym for success
Colanta is a farmer’s cooperative with approximately 5,000 members. The cooperative takes care of a great part of the value chain. They also deliver semen and a growing part of this is from VikingGenetics.
They have technicians, a dairy and a slaughterhouse as well as chain of grocery stores pro-moting their products. Their products are available in most grocery shops and supermarkets and in addition, they have farmer shops where they sell everything from horse saddles to fertilizers.
There is also a restaurant chain where their aim is to sell food of high quality at an affordable price. Colanta also has a bank targeting cheap loans to their members. The company has a subsidized agreement with the local government to provide a free milk or yogurt product every day to every school-kid at all the schools in the Medellin area.
Colanta is the largest dairy producer in Colombia with a 15% market-share.
Last October, VikingGenetics CEO Rex A. Clausager and the Export Manager for Latin America, Suvi Johansson visited Colanta. The plant they visited, produced milk, yogurts, milk powder and cheese “All living up to very high quality standards. I feel proud that we are working together with this forward-looking farmers’ cooperative in Colombia.” Clausager states.
Facts of Colombia
Colombia has a cattle population of 22.6 million animals.
Colanta is a cooperative that was created in 1964 by 60 farmers. As the time went by, the cooperative became bigger and stronger and an important distributor of VikingGenetics in Latin America.
Today, Colanta is the leading dairy company in Colombia, able to produce 2.5 million liters/milk per day which is about 16% of the national production.
|Export Manager Suvi Johansson and CEO Rex A. Clausager visiting the Colanta dairy.|
|Juan Vásquez, AI program coordinator of Colanta, during his visit to Danish and Swedish herds in June 2016.|