Environmental systems analysis of industrial dairy production
Övrigt konferensbidrag, 2004
The offering of the number of milk products for sale has increased during recent years. In fact the dairy sector leads Europe in terms of innovative markets of the food sector, followed by ready made meals (1). This development is driven both by the industry and by customer demand. The milk produced at the farms has to be processed promptly into products at the dairy. Since changing the volume of milk production at a dairy farm is a slow process, it is not possible to adjust the amount of incoming milk to rapidly changing market requirements, nor can milk be stored for long periods of time. As the volume of incoming milk to the dairy cannot easily be adjusted, the mix of outgoing products is changed instead. A larger variety of products makes it easier to balance the outflow from the dairy with the inflow. In addition, increased dairy product diversity is driven by the industrys strive to create greater demand for its produce, and consumers demand for new types of products.
At the same time environmental concern in society has grown strong. Increased product diversity potentially affects the life cycle environmental impact of dairy products in several different ways. Examples include the risk for increased waste of milk, both in dairies and in households, and consequently increased raw milk production. Another consequence with potential environmental implications is changed transportation patterns.
This paper does not address all environmental changes of increased product diversity, but is focused on how adverse environmental effects may be counteracted at the dairy production unit level. The production scheduling then becomes a key activity, influencing a wide range of issues with environmental implications, such as waste of product, need for cleaning of production equipment and packaging waste. The aim of this study was to construct a model that can support dairy production units to schedule their production of multiple products with minimal environmental impact. Production of cultured products (yoghurt) was chosen as a case study.