From the beginning, Osmar and Carmen Trevisan searched for a way to improve efficiency, enhance animal well-being and enable the sustainable processing of animal waste on their dairy farm in Brazil. Convinced by GEA’s holistic solution, in 2012 the family farm invested in a GEA free stall barn including its system technology for intelligent manure management. The farm’s latest project, a new production line for milk processing, guarantees low energy consumption, minimizes the carbon footprint and adds a guarantee of origin: “For this project, GEA was again selected as a partner, for everything from milking to packaging,” says processing engineer José Rafael Spanos with regard to the end-to-end solution by GEA.
Long term partnership with GEA
With GEA milking technology components and Holstein dairy cattle, the family farm initially produced 1,500 liters of milk a day. The possibility of a significantly larger site persuaded the family to move their operation from the small town of Fagundes Varela to Farroupilha, about 80 km away. The Trevisan farm now produces 13,000 liters of milk daily with a herd numbering 900 animals, with 370 lactation cows.
Growing the herd with a focus on sustainability
As the herd grew at the new location, so did the desire to optimize the animal’s living conditions. The free stall barn provides animal-friendly equipment from A to Z: Ventilators, sprinkler systems, a fresh water supply and rubber mats noticeably enhance animal comfort. The relaxed atmosphere in the barn and the cows’ well-being has a positive effect on milk performance. At the heart of the environmentally friendly manure processing system is GEA’s powerful liquid manure technology: While the scraper system continuously ensures dry walkways and improves the hygiene standard in the barn, the resulting mass is first homogenized in pump and agitator systems. Subsequently liquids and solids are processed in separators, screens and presses. As valuable compost as well as liquid fertilizer for growing grain, the processed liquid manure replaces artificial fertilizers. In addition, the high-energy material is used in Fazenda Trevisan’s own biogas plant to produce electricity, which can then be used for the farm’s operational processes.
Vertical operating structure and a second mainstay thanks to milk processing
“Processing our own milk and marketing it successfully in the region was another important goal,” says Jean Carlos, one of Trevisan’s sons, explaining the investment in the farm’s own dairy. The GEA product line consisting of centrifuge, homogenizer and pasteurizing system increases the added value of the operation and opens the door to a segment of the dairy sector that will bring the family farm a significant increase in income in the long term.
With this project, a vertically integrated operation has become our distinguishing feature, allowing us to do everything within the farm, including reproduction processes and the production of feed for the cows.”– Jean Carlos Trevisan
Processing milk directly next door
The dairy was installed right next to the milking facility to process the raw milk into high-quality dairy products in the shortest possible time and pack them into one liter and 500 ml containers. The fully automated GEA production line optimizes the workload for personnel and also ensures the highly efficient, economical use of energy, water and operating resources for process control and plant hygiene. Thanks to processing the milk directly on the farm, transport routes are eliminated and cooling times minimized, with a positive effect on Fazenda Trevisan’s environmental impact.
Long-term planning with expandable GEA technology
The plant was designed to process 20,000 liters of milk per day, with the main focus on producing pasteurized and homogenized milk. However the design is so flexible that production capacity can be expanded in the future. “GEA’s solutions make sense, because they are efficient, long-lasting and very robust, which pays off in the maintenance routine even after many years of use,” emphasizes Jean. “These guarantees are only possible because the plant’s level of innovation and automation is very high,” adds head of production, Luciano Persico. “The plant is ultra-modern and has become a model for many dairy farms in Brazil. In addition, GEA’s service and support are always very satisfactory. All stages of planning, implementation, system integration and after-sales support were carried out very well.”
Increased value added thanks to efficient process technology
“We produce everything in house and outsource almost nothing thanks to an excellent, well-trained team. That’s our great competitive advantage,” says an enthusiastic Trevisan about the success of Trevisan milk, which is now available in the most important markets in the state of Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul as well as parts of Santa Catarina. “I am very happy with the plant planned and commissioned by GEA. It’s designed for efficiency, guarantees quality and safety of our production and with optimal deployment of manpower it can be run by only six employees.”
Success supports right decision
Being trusted to fully implement an end-to-end system is the greatest proof of confidence and credibility that a company can receive from a customer. Just months after start-up, the family-run dairy farm is already successfully selling five products in the surrounding region, from whole milk all the way to lactose-free milk and cream. Its success proves the farm made the right decision: The brand Trevisan Milk stands for the sustainability and quality of products consumers love, with origin guaranteed.