UHT milk in aseptic bricks: Si Khiu and Thai School Milk Programme

Being a good source of protein, vitamin D and minerals like calcium, phosphorus and potassium, milk is a staple in the diets of children, providing them with all the calories and macronutrients necessary to grow big and strong.

So, it is not without a reason that over the years many countries on a global scale implemented their own kind of “School Milk Program”, i.e. a government-financed project to promote good and healthy nutrition manners for school-age children, while helping out the national dairy market and local milk producers.

Given its key importance in one’s diet, aseptic filling solutions are the best way to pack up milk, making sure that it will stay good in pantries and store shelves over many months at room temperature.

This is why Si Khiu Agricultural Cooperative Limited, a dairy cooperative based in Thailand, chose IPI for the packaging of pasteurized and UHT milk.

School Milk in Thailand: a brief overview

The origins of Milk School Program date bake to 1992, when the project was established by the Thai Ministry of Agriculture to solve the problem of unsold milk among local dairy farmers and, at the same time, support milk consumption among children, thus providing them with the high-value nutrients needed to grow to their full potential.

Of course, not only this project played a crucial role in contributing to adequate intakes of nutrients by toddlers and young kids in Primary and Kindergarten schools, but it also served as a trick to strongly yet efficiently support the Thai dairy industry, by providing a huge and reliable outlet for locally-produced milk.

Further expanded over the years, School Milk is now a vital part of the Thai dairy market, so much so that it actually accounts for more than 30% of the total trade involving liquid milk, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

As per cabinet consensus, since 2003 both UHT and pasteurized milk have been provided daily and, speaking of supply chain, are now finally available in long life bricks for parents to pick them up at school.

Today, all children attending public schools are indeed provided with 200-ml of free milk. Moreover, 60 extra “School Milk Days” have been gradually added to the 200 ones originally scheduled in school calendars, guaranteeing free consumption even over the holidays.

As for the current 2022 year, the committee of Ministry of Agriculture is actually considering to increase those consumption days from 260 to 365 – that is a whole year of free milk supply for children in Primary and Kindergarten classes - and even expanding the quota of School Milk to students in Junior High School as well.

Si Khiu, a dairy cooperative in north-eastern Thailand

Si Khiu is an agricultural cooperative based in the north-east region of Thailand and dedicated to supporting local dairy manufacturers. More specifically, the company operates with three main goals for dairy production:

  • support and train farmers on dairy farming techniques and overall production management.
  • receive raw milk, which is usually collected from cooperative members, and produce good-quality dairy products.
  • promote greater milk consumption in north-east of Thailand while avoiding over-supply and low-selling price problems.

Before 2003, Si Khiu had mainly been supplying one of the major dairy cooperatives active in the country. That year, however, the company was finally allowed, upon committee approval, to build a new plant and start its own dairy production to provide school-aged children in north east Thailand with free milk in 200-ml pouches and bottles.

Sadly, at first production volumes were not big enough to effectively meet the increasing milk demand and, furthermore, the shelf life of such products was too short, especially given Thailand tropical hot and humid climate. That is when Si Khiu decided to go even further and invest in the purchase of an aseptic filling machine for UHT products.

Aseptic filling and sealing treatments, alongside aseptic carton bricks, were indeed the perfect solution for the client’s problems, since they can greatly extend products’ shelf life, providing high quality and minimum microbiological risk, as well as significant efficiency from a logistics and warehouse.

School Milk 200 Slim Brick IPI


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