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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dairy Equipment Leased To Improve Farm Output

Food producer Wimm-Bill-Dann said Tuesday that it is leasing $6 million worth of automated equipment from Sweden to 20 partner dairy farms in a bid to boost the volume and quality of regional production.

The farms will pay back the eight-year leases with the milk they produce, offered in barter at market value, company officials said after a ceremony marking the unveiling of the fruit of their first deal - a brand-new Alfa Laval Agri milking complex at the Barybino dairy farm near Moscow.

Wimm-Bill-Dann, which packages and sells dairy products, said it decided to acquire the equipment because it wanted to improve the quality of its goods and to increase production.

With the fully automated and computerized complex, the dairy's daily output of 50,000 tons will increase by at least 10 percent and the quality will "reach European standards in all criteria," Barybino director David Gulko said.

The complexes will be installed at all 20 farms by the end of this year, said Maxim Byrdin, director of the Wimm-Bill-Dann dairy plant in Lianozovo, which processes milk from the Barybino farm.

Each complex is comprised of several large fodder tanks, waste-removal equipment, an automated milking system, a freezing system, storage tanks and a computer system that keeps records on each cow's history including milk production, food consumption and diseases.

Byrdin said the Lianozovo factory is processing 1,200 tons of milk daily and that amount is far from enough.

"We need twice as much milk as we have now," he said. "Sometimes we have to transport it from farms 500 kilometers away. Why not get it from the nearest farms?"

Paolo Sacchi, general director of the Russian office of Alfa Laval Agri, which won the tender last year to supply the milking complex, hailed the project, saying, "This is a good example of what can be done in Russia when there is a will to implement a good project."

Wimm-Bill-Dann, a Russian company founded in 1992, owns four large dairy factories in Moscow and the Moscow region as well as factories in Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk and Vladivostok. With about 5,000 employees, it sells 220 kinds of beverages, dairy products and preserves in more than 40 Russian regions. About 2,600 tons of its goods are sold every day.

The company's turnover in 1998 was $800 million and its share in the Moscow dairy market, according to its own figures, is around 30 percent.