Puerto Rico dairy farmers are marking the 20th edition of “fresh milk month” in June, in honor of an industry that pumps $200 million into the island’s economy and generates 16,000 jobs.
Some 255 farms produce all the milk necessary to meet the needs of Puerto Rican consumers in all its varieties and derivatives, such as fresh milk, UHT milk, a variety of cheeses, butter and yogurt.
“Fresh milk is the most noble food in the food chain, not only for its high nutritional value, but for the great benefits it provides to our health,” said Francisco Oramas, president of Industrias Lecheras de Puerto Rico (known as Indulac in Spanish).
“Producing it involves great sacrifices, but it’s done with great pride, because we know that we deliver to the table a high quality product made by Puerto Rican hands,” he said.
Meanwhile, Manuel Martínez-Arbona, president of the Milk Producers Co-op (COOPPLE, in Spanish), said “dairy farmers are working hard to continue strengthening our industry. The cooperative model that we adopted in 2017 precisely seeks to provide farmers with the tools to improve the efficiency and performance of milk production operations on our farms, seek animal welfare and reduce environmental impact.”
There are many benefits to consuming fresh milk and its derivatives. They are related to the prevention of health conditions with the highest prevalence in the island’s population, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, circulatory and cardiovascular problems, and some cancers.