Schärdinger dairy in Voitsberg expanded
Austria’s biggest dairy company Berglandmilch has expanded its specialist cheese dairy in Voitsberg considerably in recent months. The cheese production capacities at the site have been doubled, and the milk acceptance facility has been expanded accordingly.
Thanks to the expansion of the Voitsberg site, it will be possible to process up to 300 million litres of the finest Austrian milk into almost 30,000 tonnes of cheese for retail partners in Austria and abroad. This means that the new and expanded dairy in Styria and the Berglandmilch cheese dairy in Feldkirchen, Upper Austria, together make up the biggest cheese production facility in Austria.
The dairy in Voitsberg was already set up to produce cheese specialities. Classics such as Schärdinger Jerome, Schärdinger Moosbacher, Schärdinger Mondseer and Schärdinger Dachsteiner are made there for customers in Austria and, in particular, abroad. The dairy has been expanded to meet the growing demand for high-quality Austrian products from Europe, South America, the Middle East and the Far East.
A new cheese dairy was built in just 15 months without having to interrupt the existing dairy operations. A new milk acceptance hall with four reception docks for raw milk were installed at the same time and can accept up to 60,000 litres of raw milk per hour.
“Our retail partners appreciate the high quality of Austrian products. The investment in production and milk acceptance at the Voitsberg plant will help to keep the transport routes short and efficient, so that the taste of high-quality Austrian milk is even more evident in our products,” says Berglandmilch Managing Director Josef Braunshofer.
A total of 45 million euros has been invested in expanding the site. To run it at full capacity, up to 20 additional specialists are being employed.
As a cooperative it has always been – and always will be – our duty to collect every litre of milk that our members produce and to process it into the highest quality products. This guaranteed demand is very important for us dairy farmers, especially when selling a high-quality but perishable product such as milk. The fact that the company has strong brands, modern plants and excellent access to international markets also helps the positive ongoing development of our family-run farms. We are therefore very proud of our new, expanded speciality cheese dairy in Voitsberg, said Chairman Johann Schneeberger.
At Berglandmilch, Austria’s biggest milk processing company, some 1500 employees produce around 1.3 billion kilogrammes of milk per year. The milk is produced by 11,000 dairy farmers, who are also the owners of Berglandmilch and meet the highest standards in quality for raw milk. All Berglandmilch farmers only use GMO-free, European feed. Furthermore, they do not use the herbicide glyphosate on any of their pastures. The use of palm oil in animal feed is also prohibited at Berglandmilch.
Forty percent of the GMO-free raw milk that is produced in Austria is processed into high-quality products in one of the Berglandmilch dairies. Berglandmilch thereby makes an important contribution towards creating value for the region.
The animals at Berglandmilch are subjected to regular inspections; starting with the animal welfare service, with vets assessing the health of the dairy cows, through to regular checks of the GMO-free feed, during which the health of the animals is also checked and assessed. In large herds of dairy cows in many European countries, each cow is just a number. In Austria, however, all cows have a name and are related to one another to some extent.