Investing in a small cheese factory!

If there is a food processing activity which is chosen for investment by the most stock breeders and not only, it is that of cheesemaking. Of course, such a form of investment requires proper planning from the beginning, as well as the necessary funds for the implementation of  any related project, but also time.

Stock breeders can  increase their income by 20-30%  if they set up a unit to process their own milk by producing cheese products. The stock breeder becomes the owner of an integrated dairy production unit in this way, which due to its locality competes with the corresponding imported  products. In addition, he becomes independent and autonomous in terms of disposal of his finished products and bypasses suppliers or intermediaries. Cheese factories of this category are small, flexible processing enterprises that can grow alongside the livestock unit, thus bringing an extra income for the stock breeder by increasing the added value through the processing of his products. The investment costs are as follows:

• 30% of the costs are related to unit construction
• 15% are related to interior configuration
• 55% are related to the purchase of the equipment

The cost of creating a small cheese factory within the livestock unit is proportional to farm’s size and production capacity. It is estimated that for a small cheese factory the equipment costs are about $30,000, provided that there is space for installation. The basic requirements of the cheese making facilities are as follows:

• Be clean and neat
• Designed and built to allow the application of hygiene rules
• Have adequate supply of hot and cold drinking water
• Have suitable curtains on doors and windows to prevent the entry of insects, rodents, birds, etc.
• Have adequate natural and artificial lighting
• Have adequate facilities for washing the equipment and surfaces that come in contact with food
• Have proper drainage of waste water

The surfaces that come in contact with cheeses must be made of materials that do not allow the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. Such materials are marble, stainless steel constructions or plastics suitable for food. The products of small cheese factories can be sold  in local and street markets, and  their storage must take place in appropriate freezing areas.
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