Woodhey Dairy supplies over 6 million litres of fresh milk a year to one of the UK’s leading
supermarket chains. With a herd of over 600 cows to milk each day, the team at Woodhey
Dairy uses a 64 point rapid exit milking system, which automates a significant proportion of the milking process.
Prior to milking, the key requirement is to ensure hygiene by efficiently cleaning each cow’s teats, which requires a cleaning process to minimise the risk of high bacterial counts and Mastitis – a disease causing inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue. The farm’s ability to reduce the incidence of Mastitis and high cell counts, ensures it is able to maximise the price it receives for its milk.
The dairy farm milks its herd three times a day, which means the turnover of clean
cloths is extremely high. With the farm using as many as 500 disposable cloths for each
milking session, this was not only costing over £800 a month, but was also producing
significant quantities of unnecessary waste.
During a visit to America, Woodhey Dairy’s owner, Paul Robinson, saw how the agricultural sector utilises reusable cloths to clean their herd’s teats prior to milking. This led to staff at Woodhey Dairy Farm tasking GEA Farm Technologies; a worldwide leading manufacturer of technical innovations for cost-efficient milk production, with the design and implementation of an equally sustainable systems those used across the Atlantic.
It was through GEA Farm Technologies that Paul was made aware of the range of commercial laundry equipment offered by Electrolux Professional, which would enable the dairy to make significant cost savings through the use of reusable cloths, without compromising on the condition or cleanliness of its cows’ teats.
Through a partnership with GEA Farm Technologies and Electrolux Professional, staff at Woodhey Dairy invested in an Electrolux Professional W5180S commercial washing machine. With a 20kg capacity and the ability to enhance its software using a dedicated farm program, the machine proved the perfect fit for the dairy’s implementation of reusable teat cloths. The cloths are simply loaded into the washer, which has a specially developed farm programme for thermal disinfection to healthcare standards.
Through this bespoke thermal disinfection programme, a hot wash in excess of 90°C ensures that micro-organisms that cause Mastitis are inactivated. The machine is also capable of leaving the cloths finished with residual moisture, which is a requirement when it comes to the point of use.
Using the W5180S, staff at the dairy have also been able to enhance the economy of their reusable teat cloth innovation further by making use of the machine’s capability to weigh linen and adjust water and energy demand according to load. This leads to considerable savings on occasions where the machine is not fully loaded.
As an additional benefit, Electrolux Professional’s status as the first and only HACCP International certified laundry manufacturer in the world means staff at the dairy are assured of the washing machine’s ability to comply with key food safety criteria – a crucial onsideration given the dairy’s position as a major supplier to the FMCG sector.
Paul Robinson commented: “The introduction of reusable teat cloths at our dairy has significantly reduced wastage, and allowed us to make cost savings. Given the way in which the wholesale price of dairy products is declining, our ability to make cost savings through such an innovative system has improved our business performance.
“Seeing the way in which reusable teat cloths were used so effectively on the other side of the Atlantic, we were keen to implement that at our dairy. We’re pleased with the performance of the teat wipes and would encourage other farms around the UK to invest in similar systems.”