By Emmanuel Mutangana
Tetra Pak Ltd, the world’s leading food and packaging solutions company, has partnered with Inyange Industries Ltd and dairy processors in Rwanda to launch a campaign aimed at raising awareness about the benefits of Ultra Heat Treated (UHT) milk.
Supported by the Rwanda FDA, the campaign aims to educate consumers about the nutritional benefits of UHT milk and its packaging, which keeps it safe without the need to add preservatives.
UHT milk is the technology of processing milk at Ultra-high temperature (UHT). The sterilization is made through rapid heating of milk to a temperature of at least 135 C, holding it for a few seconds and then quickly cooling it down to ambient temperature. The milk is then packed in Tetra Pak packaging, that keeps safe with no need to add preservatives.
The Tetra Pak packaging consists of Six layers which acts as a barrier against air and light ensuring no micro-organisms enter grow in the product. Once the package is opened, the milk will be safe for consumption for three days with refrigeration.
During the campaign launch event at Inyange Industries Ltd, Jonathan Kinisu, the Managing Director of Tetra Pak Ltd, stated that UHT milk aligns with Tetra Pak’s promise to provide safe and accessible food worldwide. UHT milk enables dairy processors to distribute milk over an extended period without it expiring.
He said “availing the milk to consumers throughout the year will ensure that the population can access the nutritional benefits of safe milk.”
He added that “Milk as designed by nature is a highly nourishing beverage and well-rounded food source that enhances general health with nutrients such as calcium, high quality protein and essential amino acids. This will go a long way in building a healthy population “.
Farmer Representative, David Bucakara, General manager of Mukamira Dairy highlighted the strong side of commitment and good relations between Tetra Pak and all stakeholders especially farmers.
He recognized the goodwill of the government of Rwanda and Inyange stakeholders especially Tetra Pak and other NGO’s.
Bucakara explained that “Inyange Industries is a sustainable, reliable, and accessible market for all milk produced in this country.”
He added that “As a bridge connecting farmers to Inyange, Savanah, and Mukamira Farmers’ Cooperative, as well as other stakeholders who work closely with farmers on a day-to-day basis, we are extremely proud of our relationship with Inyange.”
“We have increased our daily output from three thousand liters (3000 ltrs) to 150,000 liters of milk. Financially, Inyange has made a significant impact on the development of farmers in rural areas. Long live Rwanda, long live Inyange, long live the farmers,” he said.
During the event, Inyange commercial Director, Maureen Maya, said that it was a special day for the brand and Inyange community and fraternity.
“The company will achieve its targets by launching a UHT milk campaign to promote the consumption of processed milk, which is nutritious for Rwandan consumers.” She said,
“The aim of this campaign is to dispel the perception among consumers that fresh milk has more benefits.” Maureen said.
She stated that “Our Inyange UHT milk goes through Ultra High Temperatures and immediately is good and part in a condition that does not allow any bacteria, so this technology enables us to have milk that does not need refrigeration, milk that is nutritious and helping for the community and more than 50% of our milk goes to our distributors”
Speaking on behalf of distributors, Mr. Jean Claude Majyambere, discussed the journey of selling milk and the impact of UHT milk.
He said “Since 2002, when we began selling milk, we have used bicycles and faced significant challenges. Over the years, we have progressed and now utilize cars for distribution.”
“Currently, we sell our milk to a company, and the quality of our product is excellent due to proper packaging,” he stated.
According to the managing director of Inyange industries ltd, James Biseruka said “UHT milk ensures that as processors we can assure farmers of constant milk uptake due to the long lasting time of the milk on the UHT milk”.
Biseruka also added that they are able to explore more export markets outside Rwanda as the distribution of the UHT milk is more affordable and convenient as it eliminates the need for cold chain distribution.
He emphasized that the growth of Rwanda’s dairy industry would also provide job opportunities to many young Rwandans who will embrace agriculture as a business venture. “if you analyze the market now, you can see that young people have shied away from the dairy industry due to the perception that it is not profitable” he said.
Recent statistics from the Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture indicate milk production has increased from 142,511 MT in 2005 to 999,976 MT in 2022.
The quality of dairy products is improving, the dairy sector is becoming more competitive and that there is increasing interest from foreign investors.
Tetra Pak’s collaboration with dairy processors in Rwanda is expected to have a positive impact on the economy of Rwanda.
Rwanda’s dairy sector remains an important contributor to Rwanda’s economic growth as it is estimated to contribute about 37% in the agricultural sector which in turn contributes an overall of 27% to Rwanda’s GDP.
Tetra Pak is committed to making milk safe and available everywhere for the health and wellness of Rwandans and the entire region.