Stronger Bones Smarter Minds
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Sammy Wilkinson
Pearl Dairy is contributing to a healthier and stronger Uganda as it leverages huge amounts of scientific expertise and innovation to expand the distribution of its infamous LATO Milk branded products across the country and wider region.
Established with the aim of applying the best in science and sector expertise to its milk products, the Company’s goal is to provide families with an enhanced nutritional option across its range, optimising a series of technologies and facilities able to process as much as 500,000 litres a day.
“Pearl Dairy Farms Ltd. (PDFL) is the Dairy arm of the MiDCOM Group of Companies. With a manufacturing unit based in the Mbarara District of Uganda in East Africa, the intent of the setup was to help the local dairy farmers by generating a constant demand for milk in the region and educate them to adapt to cleaner and more hygienic milk production techniques, and to contribute towards the growth of the dairy industry as a whole,” the Company explains. “With the use of latest milk processing equipment and ultra-modern technology, we strive to serve the society with various milk products such as milk powder, ghee and butter oil, all sold under the brand name – LATO.
“The team behind the brand is constantly striving to provide the consumer with an alternative to expensive western brands.”
Evolving and developing in line with the latest industry trends since its inception in 1937, there was an immediate vision of the wider Group to become the market leader across the provision of each of its products, in each region of operation. With a factory area spanning more than 15 acres, and a LATO Milk brand with household familiarity in Uganda and beyond, Pearl Dairy is one of the leading lights as part of this proud heritage.
Incorporated within the Company’s extensive portfolio is a series of market-leading dairy products; all of which initially introduced to fill an evident gap in the market, but later and continuously honed in order to meet consumer demands across areas of food safety, nutrition and choice diversification.
The one consistent facet across all products, however, is the levels of science and sophistication that goes into the production process.
For whole milk powder, for instance, it “is obtained by the process of two-step dehydration of full-cream liquid milk”, the Company explains. “The first step is condensing the liquid milk and then drying it in a spray drying tower. It consists of mechanical spraying of condensed milk in a special tower where, in contact with hot air, dehydration of falling drops of milk takes place. Readymade powder is subject to cooling.”
This process alone results in the production of milk chocolate, ice cream, sauces, yogurts, cheeses and baking products and is replicated via equally refined processes during the manufacture of skimmed milk powder, instant full cream milk powder, butter oils and ghee.
Across all, one of the key trends being monitored and implemented in recent years has surrounded areas of quality control and food safety, which Pearl Dairy has subsequently been synonymous with mastering.
“PDFL processes milk and provides milk products of uncompromising quality. We strive to demonstrate due diligence during the production and distribution of quality milk and milk products,” the Company expresses on its website.
[This includes] “complying with all applicable national legislations and regulations; maintaining a quality and food safety management system across the entire production process; preventing pollution to the environment by minimising generation of waste; providing quality products while enhancing environmental awareness, employee and product safety; and the continual improvement of the integrated management system”.
Ultimately, Pearl Dairy aims to continue a legacy put forward upon its inception to combine state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies and aggressive strategic marketing in order to find perfection and persistent quality products; all at competitive prices for the benefit of the Company’s customers and stakeholders, alike.
“Our vision is to become the trusted market leader in innovative and world-class dairy products across Africa and the Middle East,” the business adds.
And here lies another pivotal facet of Pearl Dairy’s continuous improvement ethos, revolving around its international footprint.
While already present in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, Rwanda has become the latest domain in which LATO Milk is looking to make an impact.
“On the heels of its successful retail launch in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, LATO Milk was introduced in Rwanda in April,” a Company press release stated. “The instant full cream milk powder which was the first product to be delivered from our portfolio was accompanied with a sustained soft launch marketing campaign aimed to boost awareness and engage customers in Rwanda. The reception so far has been very positive.
“This two-phase launch activity was planned out separately for retail and wholesale markets. The customer feedback from both these avenues has been tremendously insightful. The sampling phase, particularly in supermarkets (retail), generated significant interest and augmented sales and gave us a strong foundation to build upon and take LATO mainstream in Rwanda.”
With the smart money being placed on Pearl Dairy achieving the same levels of success in Rwanda as it has done so already in Uganda, the Company has edged yet another step closer to its aspirations of becoming “the best dairy product manufacturer in the world”.