Brazil’s Association of Livestock Breeders and Dairy Producers of Vale do Ribeira (Proleite) want to change your morning diet. If it is up to them, consumers in the domestic market and, in the long run, foreigners will drink buffalo milk in the morning.
To the 50 members of the Proleite, in the interior of the state of São Paulo, the plan is to start investing in quality and productivity. Mainly through partnerships with organizations like the local Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae).
From 2005 to date, the growth in production of buffalo milk has reached 500%. That is not counting the trade of dairy products, like mozzarella, curds, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese and butter.
Among the cities in Ribeira Valley that are involved in the activity are Barra do Turvo, Iporanga and Eldorado.
Proleite sold 450,000 liters of buffalo milk in 2009. And the hope is for expansion of at least 15% in 2010. “We may reach expansion of up to 25%”, explained Proleite president Luiz Carlos Portella.
“We worked on the diagnosing of the situation of producers in 2008, together with the Sebrae, and the results should help improve our productivity now,” he said.
According to Portella, despite still “crawling”, the association plans, in future, to sell abroad, a context in which the Arab countries are considered important trade partners. “The potential is great for a quality product like buffalo milk,” he said.
According to the producer, both milk and buffalo meat are very rich in protein and have less fat than similar beef products. “To produce a kilogram of buffalo mozzarella, five liters of milk are necessary. In the case of cattle, the volume is ten liters for each kilogram of cheese. That is because buffalo milk is richer,” he said.
According to the manager of the regional office of the Vale do Ribeira branch of the Sebrae, Roberto Nunes Pupo, opportunities are great. “It is only a question of improving the production volume,” he said. “There is also much market for dairy, like mozzarella and cream cheese made out of buffalo milk,” he explained.