#SloveniaInAction: First Roundtable Discussion at Planika Dairy

Our team (IRI UL – Institute for Innovation and Development of the University of Ljubljana and BF UL – Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana) had the opportunity to visit Planika Dairy for a first round table discussion.

Planika Dairy, a producer of high-quality, local Slovenian dairy products, is not just an ordinary dairy, but a hidden gem, a boutique dairy that prides itself on traditional processes and its commitment to quality. Their milk comes exclusively from local region, from hilly landscapes of Soča and the Idrijca Valley. Mlekarna Planika is owned by farmers. Their specialty is that they buy the milk only in the area where they are located.

We began with discussion with the director of Planika dairy, Miran Božič, and food technologist Neža Miklavič Koren about the challenges facing Planika. It became clear that despite its small size, the dairy is remarkably flexible and is committed to tradition, quality and preserving the local origin of its products. They explained their entire supply and value chain, including the roles of Munich and Mica, the two other companies involved in the project (value chain).

Planika Dairy emphasised the importance of a continuous milk supply, and acknowledged the need for close relationships with local farmers to guarantee fresh milk for their products. In addition, they stressed their commitment to ensuring an 80% shelf life guarantee for retail, pointing out the logistical challenges involved and the need for careful planning and efficient distribution.

In addition, Planika Dairy discussed the pressure they face during vacations and holidays, as the demand for dairy products remains constant or even increases during these times. Despite these challenges, they are able to maintain a seamless supply chain thanks to their remarkable flexibility and adaptability, demonstrating their resilience and commitment to excellence.

After our discussions, we went on a tour to see all production facilities where we were able to see first-hand the dedication and passion that goes into every step of the milk production process. We explored various opportunities for improvement, particularly in the area of energy efficiency. Although Planika has already made significant progress in this area, there is still room for improvement and our team is keen to continue working together in this area.

Our visit ended with an energy audit of the company, which provided an insight into areas where efficiency can be further optimised.

Overall, our visit to the Planika dairy was not only educational, but also very inspiring. We look forward to continuing our partnership with this remarkable local treasure and contributing to its ongoing success.

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