The Slovenia Times

Ljubljana dairy commits to buy more organic raw milk


Out of about 207 million litres of raw milk bought in annually by Ljubljanske Mlekarne, only 850,000 litres come from organic production, so the company wants to increase that figure.

This is why the company signed the commitment to buy in more organic milk with the Association of Slovenian Organic Farmers on Wednesday.

"Consumers are looking for organic milk, but unfortunately they cannot find enough Slovenian organic milk, so they are turning to foreign producers," the company's CEO Tomaž Žnidarič said.

According to him, foreign organic dairy products available on the Slovenian market outstrip the supply of organic milk and dairy products made in Slovenia.

Milk production contributes 15% to the value of the country's agricultural output, but only 1% of the milk bought in by dairies is organic, so there is much scope for improvement, said Agriculture Minister Aleksandra Pivec.

Organic production is seen as an opportunity mainly by farmers in peripheral areas.

"We are a high-altitude farm, one of several in Slovenia, and higher costs mean it's hard for us to compete with big European producers so I see organic farming as an opportunity," said farmer Gašper Dajčman, who already supplies organic milk to Ljubljanske Mlekarne.

The dairy buys in milk from 2,100 Slovenian farmers, but only 12 of them supply organic milk. This is about to change as the dairy committed to buy 5m litres of organic milk a year until the end of 2020.

As an additional incentive, the company also pledged to increase the buy-out price of organic milk from 10 to 13 cents above the per-litre price of ordinary milk from 1 December on.

Additional quantities will allow the company to expand the range of organic products. Current quantities of Slovenian-made organic milk are sufficient only for production of half-a-litre cartons of yogurt.


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