We partner with local pastoralists who supply us with daily fresh milk from pure and crossbred cows that graze beyond our city limits. In return, we guarantee a fixed price per litre that’s above the market average.
We test our milk and the health of the cows at multiple stages throughout the process. We have systems in place to make sure our milk is safe to drink straight from the bottle.
Our pastoralists use aluminium churns for storage immediately after milking, which are cleaned and disinfected between use. They even wash the cow’s udders before and after milking.
Cows are milked just after sunrise every morning. We only ever milk healthy cows. Raw milk is naturally free from harmful bacteria but it can be easily contaminated by environmental factors.
For this reason, we chill raw milk down to 4°C within 3-4 hours of milking, which helps to stop bacteria from developing. Any bad bacteria and germs are later killed in the pasteurisation process.
Pastoralists take their milk to a designated collection point that is less than a 20-minute walk from their home. Our field officers inspect the milk and check everything from appearance, temperature, acidity, consistency and even how the milk was stored.
We use an alcohol gun to measure acidity levels. We always reject milk at the point of collection if it fails to meet our safety and quality standards.
If all tests are passed, the milk is accepted and the volume is marked on each pastoralist’s record sheet. Milk is transferred to stainless steel churns and each churn is scanned with its own ID number for traceability purposes.
Our milk aggregation centres then perform a second series of tests, similar to the ones carried out at the collection point, including using a lactometer to make sure the milk hasn’t been diluted. Finally, the milk is chilled to the correct temperature and loaded onto our vehicles ready for delivery to the factory.
The milk arrives at our factory within several hours of milking. We perform another series of checks including an organoleptic test, alcohol test, density test and temperature check.
Our lab team collects samples for more confirmatory tests before approving the milk for pasteurisation. These include an antibiotic test, a resazurin test, and nutrition analysis (see our FAQs for more details about these tests).
All our milk that has made it this far is then pasteurised. We heat the milk to 63°C for 30 minutes, which eliminates any pathogens and extends its shelf life. We then separate milk into cream and skimmed milk.
The last step is homogenisation – a process of reducing fat particles in the milk to create a creamy, smooth texture. The end result is a consistent milk that won’t separate when left to stand.
At Câm, we’re always embracing new technologies and rethinking how the dairy industry could operate.
In fact, our entire supply chain runs on a mobile app that manages our milk collections and aggregation. This allows us to record test results, volume of milk and the churn ID for each pastoralist. By using this system, we can monitor quality control, delivery times and trace our milk right back to its source.
We’re also using technology to build trust with our partners. These include new systems to onboard pastoralists and generate a weekly “Câm Print” that shows exactly how much milk they sold and what they were paid.
Lastly, we’re proud to be early adopters of a sustainable rechargeable mobile chilling system that provides up to 15 hours of refrigeration without a direct power source, allowing us to deliver further afield.
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