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DairyCo Lab Tests Ensure Value for Money

26 June 2008

UK - DairyCo’s farm management team is currently monitoring calibration within the dairy industry to ensure British dairy farmers get a fair price from dairies for their milk.

DairyCo is working with an independent French laboratory to undertake independent proficiency testing of the laboratories’ testing mechanisms.


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"Testing is obviously a sensitive area and these additional checks will help to ensure that the results are both accurate and repeatable."
James Booth, project manager for DairyCo

Milk samples are circulated four times a year by Cecalait to the laboratories which undertake milk payment testing in Britain. There are two quarterly proficiency tests, the first for butterfat, protein and lactose, and the second for somatic cell counts. The results are reported by Cecalait to the laboratories and DairyCo.

James Booth, project manager for DairyCo, says: “Through DairyCo, proficiency testing will provide reassurance to farmers that their milk is being tested to the highest international standards. Testing is obviously a sensitive area and these additional checks will help to ensure that the results are both accurate and repeatable. Farmers can then be confident that their milk test results from the participating British laboratories are in line with testing at other labs in the EU.”

Brian Lindsay, head of farm management at DairyCo says: “Milk price is set according to its constituents and quality so it is vitally important that the tests are as accurate as possible. By co-operating with industry on this matter and benchmarking results against 80 labs outside of the UK we can help farmers maximise the price they deserve.”

Paul O’Brien, Group Quality Manager responsible for the National Milk Laboratories, commented: “We are pleased to be cooperating with DairyCo to ensure that farmers can have confidence in their milk quality information. The independent proficiency schemes are an important part of our quality assurance procedures designed to maintain our status as UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) accredited laboratories.”

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