Dairy Industry Should Focus on Adding Value, Says Minister ({{commentsTotal}})

A milk packaging line at Laeva Dairy in Tartu County
A milk packaging line at Laeva Dairy in Tartu County Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Estonian milk producers should concentrate on processing the product, not only selling milk, Ivari Padar, the Minister of Agriculture, said.

“The development of manufacturing in the milk sector is of the utmost importance for the further advancement of the industry. There are means for that in the new rural development plan,” Padar said, after a meeting at the ministry on Tuesday to discuss Russian sanctions.

He said the sanctions have highlighted which areas of the industry need a boost. “Estonia has a strong agriculture sector, but less so when it comes to adding value, while Lithuania has developed the other way around.”

Lithuania in particular has become known for long-matured hard cheeses. Estonia is also producing various varieties popular in the West, such as at a Võru's Swiss cheese plant and operations that turn out hard Gran Padano-like cheeses, but volumes remain small compared to the amount of raw milk that ships.