Arla Foods has revealed that it went to significant lengths to ensure its milk collection continued throughout the coronavirus outbreak. The dairy giant took the unusual decision to train dairy farmers in the safe transportation of milk as a contingency plan in the event a significant percentage of their usual drivers went off sick with covid-19.
Dairy farmers volunteered for the training
The job of a milk tanker driver is perhaps more complex than you might think; it requires regular monitoring and testing of temperature and quality to ensure food safety is maintained throughout transportation. It was because of these complex requirements that Arla made the decision to train back-up drivers who already had knowledge of the dairy industry, and who better than dairy farmers themselves? So, the contingency plan involved non-specialist drivers operating the tankers while the newly trained farmers followed behind in a car to carry out the important checks.
In total, 19 volunteer dairy farmers and 10 members of its agricultural team were chosen for the training and each person thoroughly enjoyed the process. Due to the social distancing measure needed to help combat coronavirus, the training had to be conducted via video chat and practical training conducted at a safe distance.
The future of the dairy industry?
The Agriculture Director of Arla, Graham Wilkinson, said: “Arla’s cooperative ethos meant from the start of the pandemic, its farmer owners were asking what they could do to help the business. When we asked the elected farmers to help us with this challenge there was no shortage of volunteers.”
Carrie Burridge, one of the famer’s who took part in the training was impressed by the whole process, saying: “The training was great. It really makes you stop and think about just how important the quality of our milk is… I was very impressed that Arla managed to pull off the training and put in place so many measures to keep us all safe in the process.”
This is just one of the ways Arla used cross-business training to help ensure the continuation of production and the survival of their business. In total, more than 21,000 hours of coronavirus related training took place in the last few months.
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