Staff from the Neiker-Tecnalia and AZTI-Tecnalia technology centres visited livestock farms which produce their own cheeses and use the milk whey generated to feed their own animals.
During these visits, information has been collected relating to the quantity of the whey generated, the number of animals fed, ways of managing the whey, the nature of other feed components, difficulties encountered, etc. The objective is to encourage whey reuse in small cheese factories of the Basque Country in remote, poorly developed locations or whose production volume is so low that collection is not profitable. Its use as a feed supplement may eventually reduce the farmers’ expenses for providing water and food for their animals.
In February, a visit was made to the EKIOLA cheese factory in Gamarthe (St. Jean Pied de Port, France). It was guided by Batis Otaegi, from HAZI – Artzain Eskola, who contacted Désiré and Kati Loyatho. This couple has been manufacturing cheese under designation Ossau-Iraty (made from raw milk) for the last 30 years, and more recently Camembert cheese, yoghurt and cottage cheese.
Data collection and products
Their 300 sheep drink the whey generated daily in the cheese factory which goes directly from the curdling vat to the drinking trough. This practice has not caused their livestock any health problems and is allowed by the regulations of Ossau-Iraty’s Designation of Origin.
Distribution of the whey to the drinking trough