The Leartiker Technology Centre (Markina-Xemein), in collaboration with the HAZI Foundation and the Basque Government, is launching the first DAIRY CENTRE in the Basque Country. In response to the needs and gaps in the dairy industry and with the aim of boosting the industry in the Basque Autonomous Community, Leartiker will offer advanced technical support, specialised training, the development of innovation projects and other services based on food safety through this Dairy Centre.
It will serve as a benchmark for producers in the dairy industry, who are guaranteed to benefit from an advanced, customised and efficient service based on ongoing collaboration with other industry players.
THE DAIRY INDUSTRY IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY
The dairy industry in the Basque Country is artisanal, traditional, and consists of small producers who are committed to a sustainable, local, healthy, km0-based, natural, organic food model that offers seasonal, reputable products and is rooted in culture and tradition.
According to data from 2019 (Letra Q database), there are 190 cheesemakers in the Basque Autonomous Community, 95% of which are wholly artisanal, that is, family-run businesses that not only produce milk but are fully involved in its processing. Based on the “micro-cheese-making” model, they strive to safeguard and ensure added value in the production of traditional cheeses. But this model also creates gaps in their economic capacity: investment placements, incorporation of new technologies, product diversification, staff recruitment, etc., and the sector is not able to economically cover all these different areas.
Milk production, milk processing, the application and control of hygiene and health regulations, the product marketing process… there are many daily activities in this sector and there is a strong need for external technical support.
This lack of external technical support directly affects and weakens the dairy industry.
The Dairy Centre was created in response to this need. Thanks to the different services that this centre will offer, the aim is to boost the dairy industry in the Basque Autonomous Community. With the support of the Basque Government and the HAZI Foundation, the Dairy Centre will be the continuation of the Leartiker Technology Centre’s Dairy Industry Department. The experience provided by the work performed over the years and the close relationship with producers mean that this centre, run by Leartiker, is set to become a benchmark in the Basque Country’s dairy industry.
LEARTIKER AND THE DAIRY CENTRE
In recent years, the Leartiker Technology Centre’s Dairy Industry Department has worked with more than 100 producers in a range of areas that include product development, advanced consultancy services, specialised training and food safety. As a result, it has not only boosted competitiveness in the diversification of small producers but has also succeeded in sparking a desire to innovate in this artisanal sector.
Building on this successful track record, the time has come to take on new challenges and the Dairy Centre is the clearest example.
The Dairy Centre will provide a comprehensive range of services to industry producers and entrepreneurs through the following services:
- Development of diversification projects
- Technological support
- Specialised training (in partnership with HAZI and Academie MonS)
- Quality control, safety and sensory analysis
- Marketing (in partnership with Academie MonS)
- Promotional activities
Coordination and collaboration between leading organisations that work in the dairy industry are the cornerstones of this new Dairy Centre. To provide an efficient service, to diversify, to facilitate the services of the entire value chain and to develop new products, from design and production to marketing.