The Israeli dairy herd management firm AfiMilk has won a 12 million-euro tender
with the Belarusian government to provide its advanced milking parlors to
locations around the Eastern European country.
In light of a recent
Russian decision to largely cease purchasing Belarusian dairy products, the
smaller country’s government decided that its dairy products needed to expand
outside of the Russian market – which accounted for 95 percent of its dairy
exports – and bring its dairy systems up to European standards, according to
AfiMilk. Therefore, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko recently approved
an agreement to establish 135 new and upgraded milking parlors by the end of
2012, for which AfiMilk will be supplying the complete parlor systems, including
all the necessary hardware and software to manage the cattle, the firm
AfiMilk, owned jointly by S.A.E. out of the northern Jordan
Valley’s Kibbutz Afikim and Fortissimo Capital, has integrated its dairy herd
management technologies at farms in over 50 countries across five continents.
Just a month ago, the company won a large tender in China – $500 million to
build milking parlors serving a total of about 50,000 cows.
Belarusian milking system is a direct result of Russia’s ban on the import of
1,200 dairy products from Belarus. The reason for the ban, according to media
reports, was that Belarusian manufacturers were violating new packaging laws
accepted in Russia.
A spokesman for AfiMilk described this as a “crushing
blow” for the Belarusian dairy industry, as 95% of its dairy exports had
previously gone to Russia and because about one in 10 Belarusians work in
agricultural industries. In what has been dubbed Belarus’s “milk war,”
Lukashenko decided that the country needed to become a milk marketer to European
countries, and thereby acclimate to EU standards, according to
Yuval Rachmilevitch, CEO of AfiMilk, stressed that upgrading the
existing milking systems as well as establishing new ones is going to increase
Belarus’s milk production by 50% over the coming years. In entering the
Belarusian milk market, AfiMilk is also excited to create a relationship with
the country’s milking parlor company Promtechnika, which has been producing
advanced equipment there for 12 years, accounting for 42% of Belarus’s daily
milk yield, he explained.
“In Belarus there is an ideal combination
between a strong, aggressive and professional partner and a supportive
government that wants to increase milk production dramatically,” Rachmilevitch