Natural goodness, quality nutrition, and personal accountability differentiate Cayuga Milk Ingredients (CMI) from other milk product manufacturers. Like our finished products, our farms and member farmers are held to a higher standard of quality.
For example, instead of allowing the somatic cell count in bulk milk tanks to remain at the current U.S. Dairy Ordinance regulatory maximum, CMI chose to adopt international standards for their milk quality. Not only does this greatly reduce the risk of bovine mastitis and other diseases in the herd or the milk, it guarantees that our milk products are of the highest quality, exceeding our customers’ expectations.
Take a look at some of the other ways we do the right thing for our families, farms, and facility to bring you quality, value-added products.
Owned by dairy farmers, CMI processes milk from fewer than 30 local, family-owned dairy farms. We ensure our customers receive the highest quality products. Milk is all-natural, and CMI incorporates that natural goodness into every customizable ingredient we provide. Because the owners of CMI are also milk suppliers to the company, and all of those suppliers are located within the Finger Lakes region, CMI can monitor all aspects of the integrity of our products, offering a higher level of product traceability than other milk product manufacturers. We’re committed to quality assurance, from farm to plant to consumer.
Since our farms are close to the processing facility, the cost of milk transport is greatly reduced, helping to lower costs of the finished products. Due to shorter transportation distances, emissions are greatly diminished, reducing the total environmental impact—or “carbon footprint”—of the company.
All CMI farms are compliant with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) permits. In addition, one of our member farms was the site of the National Air Emissions Monitoring study. This EPA-generated research collected air quality data on ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, particulates, volatile organic compounds, and greenhouse gases continually for two years. The data generated was used to develop an emissions estimating methodology that the EPA will use to regulate livestock farms in the U.S.
Many of our farms have quickly implemented anaerobic digesters, a significantly sustainable practice that has slowly begun to revolutionize the farming industry. As a result, a renewable fuel source and a nutrient-rich fertilizer are produced while simultaneously decreasing waste, augmenting the environmental benefits of our processes.
Additionally, CMI’s location in the Finger Lakes region is ideal, thanks to the area’s abundance of farmland and clean water sources. The climate is just right for growing forages, and the cool environment is excellent for our herds. This translates into sustainable growth conditions for a consistent, high-quality milk supply for our products.
In January of 2013, the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). This law requires that many U.S. standards for milk purity be raised. At CMI, we are well ahead of the curve. We have assured ourselves a place in the future of the global foods market by building our advanced processing facility. In 2013, CMI completed a 12-month study conducted by Cornell University to assess the condition of spore-forming bacteria to help keep our products as bacteria-free as possible at the farm level. Milk samples were collected from 12 of our farms, in addition to 33 other farms across New York State. Somatic cell count, bacteria count, lab pasteurized count, mesophilic spore count, psychrotrophic spore count, and thermophilic spore count were measured each month. It was concluded that the quality of milk from CMI farms was significantly higher than others in the group. Since the completion of this study, we have continued to use the results to improve our processes and deliver the highest quality milk products to our customers.
At our facility, we believe so strongly in quality that we have developed innovative practices that allow us to go beyond what is expected of industry leaders. These practices have allowed us to refine the current standards for important facets of the manufacturing process. With these processes in place, we can confidently say that we’re raising the bar for high standards. Our product quality speaks for itself.
We’ve also adopted a variation of the 5S methodology to continually improve our daily operations. The objective of such a program is reducing waste and increasing employee productivity. At CMI, we’re working to empower our employees to reach new levels of excellence, since we consider them one of our greatest assets and competitive advantages.