GEA technology promises sustainably sourced milk with guaranteed origin

Photo courtesy of GEA

Brazilian dairy farm Fazenda Trevisan produces and processes its own milk directly for the region, and this end-to-end solution is possible thanks to sustainable GEA technology. Right from the start, Osmar and Carmen Trevisan searched for a way to improve efficiency, enhance animal well-being and enable the sustainable processing of animal waste on their dairy farm. Convinced by GEA’s holistic solution, the family farm initially invested in a GEA free stall barn including its system technology for intelligent manure management some years ago. The farm’s latest project, a new production line for milk processing, guarantees low energy consumption, minimises the carbon footprint and adds a guarantee of origin. Thanks to a long-term partnership, GEA was again selected as a partner for this project.

With GEA milking technology components and Holstein dairy cattle, the family farm initially produced 1,500 liters of milk a day. The Trevisan farm now produces 13,000 liters of milk daily with a herd numbering 900 animals, with 370 lactation cows at its new location in Farroupilha in the state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil. To optimise the animal’s living conditions, the free stall barn provides animal-friendly equipment from A to Z: Ventilators, sprinkler systems, a fresh water supply and rubber mats noticeably enhance animal comfort. The relaxed atmosphere in the barn and the cows’ well-being reportedly has a positive effect on milk performance.

Sustainability and environmental friendliness were also considered when processing the manure. GEA’s liquid manure technology therefore consists of a scraper system ensuring dry walkways continuously and improving the hygiene standard in the barn. The resulting mass is first homogenised in pump and agitator systems. Subsequently liquids and solids are processed in separators, screens and presses. As valuable compost as well as liquid fertiliser for growing grain, the processed liquid manure replaces artificial fertilisers. In addition, the high-energy material is used in Fazenda Trevisan’s own biogas plant to produce electricity, which can then be used for the farm’s operational processes.

“Processing our own milk and marketing it successfully in the region was another important goal,” says Jean Carlos, one of Trevisan’s sons, explaining the investment in the farm’s own dairy. The GEA product line consisting of centrifuge, homogeniser and pasteurising system increases the added value of the operation and opens the door to a segment of the dairy sector that will bring the family farm a significant increase in income in the long term.

The dairy was installed right next to the milking facility to process the raw milk into high-quality dairy products in the shortest possible time and pack them. The fully automated GEA production line optimises the workload for personnel and ensures the highly efficient, economical use of energy, water and operating resources for process control and plant hygiene. Thanks to processing the milk directly on the farm, transport routes are eliminated and cooling times minimised, with a positive effect on Fazenda Trevisan’s environmental impact.

The plant was designed to process 20,000 liters of milk per day, mainly focused on producing pasteurised and homogenised milk. However, the design is flexible so that production capacity can be expanded in the future. “GEA’s solutions make sense, because they are efficient, long-lasting and very robust, which pays off in the maintenance routine even after many years of use,” emphasises Jean Carlos.

“These guarantees are only possible because the plant’s level of innovation and automation is very high,” adds head of production, Luciano Persico. “The plant is ultra-modern and has become a model for many dairy farms in Brazil. In addition, GEA’s service and support are always very satisfactory. All stages of planning, implementation, system integration and after-sales support were carried out very well.”

Just months after start-up, the family-run dairy farm is already successfully selling five products in the most important markets in the surrounding regions, from whole milk all the way to lactose-free milk and cream. Its success proves the farm made the right decision: the brand Trevisan stands for the sustainability and quality of products consumers love, with origin guaranteed.

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