Premier Milk Incorporated (PMI), a Florida-based dairy cooperative, began delivering milk to processors June 1. Dairy producers who own and operate farms in Florida and Georgia
founded PMI to distribute milk of the highest quality to milk processors while providing maximum returns to its members.
Focused on consumer satisfaction, PMI requires milk supplied by its members to be of a higher quality standard. PMI's founders believe raising quality requirements at the farm level will result in a higher quality milk supply with longer shelf life, bringing value to both the processor and the consumer.
"Healthier cows produce healthier milk,” said PMI president and member producer David Sumrall. "We are raising the bar on quality standards in order to deliver higher quality milk to the market. Our members understand that milk quality is 100% our responsibility and are devoted to the farm production practices that enhance the health, well-being, and quality of the milk produced by our cows.”
Members of PMI must have somatic cell counts below 400,000 compared to the current regulation limit of 750,000. Standard plate counts must be 25,000 or less while the current acceptable level is 100,000. Along with quality parameters, each new member must follow the guidelines of The National Dairy Animal Well-Being Initiative, a producer-led coalition designed to protect consumer trust and confidence by demonstrating a commitment to animal well-being. Additionally, PMI certifies all milk received from its members comes from cows not treated with rBST hormone.
"Along with quality, another top concern of our members is making sure that all animals receive the best of care and humane treatment,” said Tom Pittman, PMI general manager. Premier Milk Incorporated works with other southeastern dairy cooperatives under the Capper-Volstead Act to gain efficiencies when moving milk from farm to processor.
Based in Ocala, Fla., Premier Milk Incorporated is a Florida-based cooperative established by dairy producers with a mission to produce the highest quality milk and move it efficiently to the market. For more information, visit www.premiermilk.org.