Uelzena eG responds to market requirements: non-GMO Cheese
Uelzen, May 2018 – Trade and consumers are increasingly demanding non-GMO products. Up to now, the Association for Non-GMO Food (Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik, VLOG) has registered just short of 7,000 food products with the non-GMO claim. The industry is constantly growing and therefore increasing its requirements for suppliers and producers. This also applies to the cheese production at Uelzena eG with fixed deadlines for suppliers. Failure to comply may result in non-acceptance of the products, which would have far more serious consequences for all parties involved.
Decision to switch to non-GMO feeding for two collecting cooperatives of the Uelzena eG
In order to remain competitive and to meet the growing market requirements, the decision makers at Uelzena eG had decided to offer non-GMO cheese from July 1, 2018. This means: The transition to non-GMO milk production had to start on April 1, 2018. The milk delivered to the milk cooperatives on or after May 15, 2018 must be non-GMO milk. The transitional period for changing the feed is three months. In order to produce on schedule, animal feed and feeding had to be changed from 1 January 2018. This was the only way to ensure that the cheese offered on the market after July 1, 2018, is non-GMO cheese.
Focus on non-GMO Cheese
This change first of all affects the milk producers who deliver their raw milk to the Altmark-Käserei Uelzena GmbH (Bismark site) of the Uelzena eG. It is not possible to segregate the raw milk processing at this site; besides this, the milk producers would also have to face additional freight costs. At all other sites of Uelzena eG, common raw milk and raw milk complying with the VLOG standard can be processed.
Uelzena eG offers financial support for milk producers
Switching to non-GMO products is associated with new challenges and initial costs. Uelzena eG offers all milk producers an additional payment of 0.75 cent/kilogram provided the producer has been approved by the certification body. After presentation of the respective certificate, the additional payment is always paid for the full month and will expire on December 31, 2018. The additional payment is granted to every farm that has changed to non-GMO milk regardless of where and how the milk is processed.
The non-GMO certificate means that the food must not contain, consist of, or be produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Furthermore, genetically modified components are not allowed to be used in the production process. For ingredients of animal origin such as milk and cheese that are used for non-GMO certified food products, the animals must not have been fed genetically modified plants.
Non-GMO products for a long time
The Uelzena Group does not use any genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the production of its products. This applies to all raw materials, ingredients and any additives that are used. Therefore, our products are not subject to any labelling requirements according to the relevant EU regulations. From May 4, 2018, the delivery of milk was changed to VLOG milk. The Bismark site was certified on May 8, 2018.