Sapna Sarfare visited the Parag Milk Food’s Cheese Plant to understand cheese-making as a part of the Femina Go Cheese Tasting Event organised by Femina & Go Cheese. The details amazed all.
Once reaching their Manchar Plant, I was fascinated by the fact that it was not one plant but three different plants for different uses. At the short event presentation, Ajay Singh who happens to be Parag Milk Foods representative gave us all a peek into how the company has travelled since 1992 to reach a place where Go & Gowardhan products have become a market asset. He revealed, “The word Go in our products comes from the Hindi word for cow and also our name Gowardhan. We are a fully integrated dairy company and have Asia’s largest cheese producing plant. Our first plant was in Manchar, while the tetra pack factory came up in South India – at Palamner in Andhra Pradesh.” The company believes in product innovations and has come up with brands like Pride of Cow (Farm to Home Exclusive Milk) Gowardhan, Go, Top Up Flavoured Milk, etc. Singh focuses on the point that their company is the only one with a multi-brand approach for target consumer and happens to one of the only two companies manufacturing their own cheese.
The exciting plant visits were next on the agenda. It began with the first visit to the company’s Bhagyalaxmi Farms nearby which handles the milk production. Over 2000+ cows, 1000+ heifers and about 900+ pregnant cows are found in their up-to-date sheds. The cow breeds here happen to be the Holstein Friesians breed from Denmark who can give minimum 54 litres of milk on a daily basis. For ignorant people like me, it was a revelation to see the use of rotary to milk the cows. We saw 50 cows being milked in a standing position, while 200 were on a standby. The cows are milked three times a day. The farm managed to keep the rotary section at 24-28° Celsius for the cows, as they believe that it is important for the cows to be happy for good production. One of the appealing points is the fact that the cows listen to instrumental music for better health. Who says music is just for good human health?
A small lunch later, it was time to visit the hi-tech cheese plant where varied cheese varieties are made from scratch. Our guide, Madhuri, got thumbs up for efficiently giving remarkable information regarding the process that was staggering. The only thing, which might be putting off for some, would be the overwhelming smell of milk. The cheeses made at the factory range from Cheddar, Mozzarella, Colby, Processed, Paneer, Vintage Cheddar, Emmental and Gouda in various forms for various preparations.
After an evening round of cheese tasting and games, we had to head home with a heavy heart. The Go Cheese Femina Tasting Event made me aware of all the hard work that goes into not just making cheese but also other products. Parag Milk Foods definitely are making sure that good milk products reach our homes. Time to pick my favourite cheese before it gets moved.