Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry, gives the thumbs up (right) after sampling milk at the Jamaica Beverages booth, to the delight of Distribution Coordinator at Jamaica Beverages, Nikeisha Reynolds (left); and Merchandising Manager, Nigel Pinnock. (Photo: JIS)

KINGSTON, Jamaica — In recognition of World Milk Day, June 1, and with the guidance of the Nutrition Services/Health Promotion and Protection Branch of the Ministry of Health, dairy industry partners announced an initiative to assist in enhancing the health of pregnant mothers and improving the nutrition of newborn babies.

Pregnant mothers from the antenatal clinics of selected hospitals will each receive three litres of milk per week for three months contributed by the four milk processors in Jamaica — Seprod Group/Serge Island Dairies, Jamaica Beverages, Edwards Dairy, and Island Dairies Limited.

A pregnant mother in the second or third trimester, which is when they need the nutrition most for their developing babies, will be selected from each of the following hospitals: the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, Linstead Hospital in St Catherine, May Pen Hospital in Clarendon, and Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James.

In addition, the Jamaica Dairy Development Board will facilitate the donation of five cases of milk per month for the next three months to the Sir John Golding Rehabilitation Centre in St Andrew.

The announcements were made by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr. Donovan Stanberry during an address at a press conference to launch World Milk Day in Jamaica at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St Andrew yesterday.

Stanberry, who was representing the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl Samuda, noted that nutrition experts indicate that many pregnant mothers are not receiving the recommended intake of nutrients found in milk, therefore leading to the birth of under-nourished babies.

World Milk Day is being observed by all dairy partners in Jamaica and provides another opportunity to advance the public education efforts of the founding partners of the Drink Real Milk Campaign — CB Group (through Nutramix), Seprod Group, Newport Fersan Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Dairy Development Board.


Mo Farah has a penchant for chocolate milk after races and intense training sessions, but far from being a rare moment when the double Olympic champion strays from his almost monastic nutritional regime, this is actually a vital part of his post-run recovery programme.

The explosion of research in sports science over the past decade has allowed elite athletes to approach every aspect of racing in minute detail in a bid to gain even the smallest of edges. And as unlikely as it sounds, there is a growing belief that a humble bottle of chocolate milk may be the best recovery drink out there: “We now know that chocolate milk has the ideal carbohydrate-to-protein ratio, which your muscles require to replenish glycogen levels,” says Kelly Pritchett of thedepartment of foods and nutrition at the University of Georgia.

The surprisingly revitalising qualities of chocolate milk were only discovered by accident. A scientific study looking at the best beverages for post-exercise rehydration was supposed to pit the finest electrolyte sports drinks on the market against each other. Nine elite cyclists were taken through a series of glycogen-depleting exercises, consuming various recovery drinks in between, while a handful were given just milk as a control to gauge the relative benefits of each drink. But in an unexpected twist, the cyclists on milk outperformed their rivals by a considerable margin.

Initially this was thought to be a fluke, but sports scientists from a variety of different institutions have since repeated the experiment with similar results. Chocolate milk contains a three-to-one ratio of carbohydrate grams to protein grams which appears to enhance glycogen replenishment, as well as far more potassium, calcium and vitamin D than most sports drinks. Crucially, chocolate milk also appears to be naturally tuned to human digestive systems – the dairy-intolerant or allergic clearly notwithstanding – containing exactly the right balance of fast-absorbing proteins such as whey protein (which pumps essential amino acids into the bloodstream promoting muscle growth and repair), and slow-absorbing proteins such as casein (which keeps amino acids in the blood stream many hours later, reducing the amount of muscle breakdown).

In response, the manufacturers of Gatorade and other similar post-exercise thirst quenchers have attempted to copy the optimal carbohydrate-protein ratio found in milk, but even with their upgraded products, they cannot outperform the real thing.

“The key thing is there are still no studies which have found chocolate milk to be inferior, so it’s always either equal or superior to your over-the-counter recovery drinks,” Pritchett says. “And from a cost standpoint, on a weekly basis you’re looking at maybe £7 a week versus up to £24. So it’s more economical.”

While it may appear that the chocolate is only there to make it taste nice, the extra sugar actually plays a key part in ensuring you’re getting the post-exercise recommendations for carbohydrate: an 8oz glass of chocolate milk contains about 30-35g of carbohydrate compared to just 12g in normal milk.

With athletes including Farah constantly seeking ways to push the boundaries, several studies have also investigated whether alternative milks such as almond or soy may prove even more effective recovery beverages. But while it was found neither contains the optimum balance that makes low-fat chocolate milk ideal – with soy lacking the carbohydrate content and almond lacking the requisite amount of protein – this research did reveal that timing is crucial.

“In order to enhance recovery, the key is to get the carbohydrate and protein you need in the first two hours after exercise,” says Pritchett. “We say this is the window of opportunity, as the ability to replace muscle glycogen is boosted during that period when you have increased blood flow going to the muscles. If you wait longer, it could take more time to restore your natural levels.”

Chocolate milk has also been found to be an excellent drink for runners taking part in intense multi-day endurance events. Last September, 52-year-old Tom Denniss, a mathematics researcher from Sydney, broke the world record for a round-the-world run, completing more than 600 consecutive marathons to cover 26,000km in just 622 days. Denniss firmly believes that chocolate milk made a huge difference to his ability to clock up the miles without sustaining injury: “To recover I just sat down at the end of each day, and before the day started, and I’d mix up a litre of chocolate milk,” he said. “I found that was really important for hydration. I had always been a reasonably big milk drinker anyway, but I thought that was just me, just what I liked. It turns out it contains exactly the right sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium electrochemical balance which the body requires for the muscle synapses to fire.”

Denniss’s route took him across five continents through some of the most remote locations on the planet, from the Andes mountain range to the Nullarbor desert, and he admitted that the ready availability of milk proved to be a godsend.

“You can’t be too precious about anything because you never know what you can find. You can’t rely on electrolyte drinks, as those won’t be available when you’re running through the Malyasian jungle.”

Such challenges put a vast calorific demand on the body – studies on Tour De France cyclists show that they need to consume around 7,000-8,000 calories a day to maintain performance levels. Actually eating that amount of food is nigh-on impossible, which makes chocolate milk again ideal.

“Chocolate milk is a very effective recovery beverage especially when doing something like multiple marathons back to back,” Pritchett confirms. “You’re not going to be able to recover if you can’t get in the carbs and the protein, and the nice thing about it is that it’s convenient and it’s an easy way to get something in if you find you don’t want to eat after exercise.”


Link to article:

By Marsha N. Woolery, Healthy Eating & Diet

Growing up in the country, I remember the milkman on a donkey with pint bottles of milk delivering to families with small children and elderly. Do you remember as a child getting milk powder at school on a Friday to take home? Well, some of us would eat it on the road, while others hurriedly took home this precious item to put in the porridge and the Sunday soursop or carrot juice.

Milk is a fluid from the mammary glands or breast of animals, including humans. Cow’s milk should not be offered to a child before 12 months of age, because the baby is not able to digest and use all the nutrients present, hence the importance of the easily digested human breast milk for the first year of life.

Cow’s milk provides all the macronutrients and some micronutrients.

The main nutrients in cow’s milk are:

Carbohydrates in the form of lactose. Some persons are unable to tolerate lactose or, are lactose intolerant because after consuming milk they will become bloated, have diarrhoea and/or become nauseous. This occurs because they do not have the enzyme (lactase) that breaks down lactose in the intestines.

Protein in the form of casein and whey. Protein is needed for growth and development in children and teenagers. Protein is also needed to repair and make new cells, build immune system and make hormones and enzymes in adults. Milk contains all the essential amino acids that are needed by the body.

Fat in the saturated form and cholesterol. The fat in cow’s milk is removed to make low-fat and non-fat, but the carbohydrates, protein and minerals remain the same. Low-fat should be offered to a child or adolescent who is overweight. Low-fat and non-fat milk is usually thinner and less tasty because fat adds flavour and taste to foods.

Calcium, which is the main mineral found in cow’s milk, is needed to make bones and teeth during pregnancy, keep bones strong in growing children and teenagers, and helps with the clotting of blood. Adults need milk to maintain the strength of their bones, especially for women who are going through menopause or who are peri-menopausal (late 40’s to early 50’s).

Phosphorus, which is needed at all ages, to strengthen bones and teeth.

Cow’s milk is low in residue and drinking too much without a balanced diet may cause constipation. Milk contains very low amounts of iron and should not be consumed or offered with a meal because the calcium that is in the milk prevents the iron in the plant foods such as callaloo or dried peas and beans from going into the blood. This may result in anaemia or weak blood.

Here are some tips for persons who do not like the taste of plain milk:

  • Add a flavouring such as cocoa powder (unsweetened or lightly sweetened)
  • Add a favourite syrup
  • Serve with cereal or soaked crackers
  • Offer cheese, yogurt (lightly sweetened or fruit flavoured)
  • Offer egg custard
  • Add extra milk to dishes such as macaroni and cheese and pastry recipes instead of water
  • In the current health-conscious craze, there are some milk substitutes that are available, but are they really a substitute?
  • One cup cow’s milk provides 12 grams carbohydrates, eight grams protein and 0-7 grams of fat.
  • One cup soymilk provides five grams carbohydrates, seven grams protein and five grams of fat.
  • One cup almond milk provides approximately 10 grams carbohydrates and one gram protein.
  • One cup rice milk provides just under 30 grams carbohydrates, one gram protein and two grams of fat.
  • Cow’s milk is the best source of protein and calcium for the growth and development of our children and for the parents who need to take responsibility and start making healthy food choices. Let us break the cycle and start drinking low- or non-fat milk for a strong and healthy family.

Marsha N. Woolery, RD, is a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Fairview Medical and Dental Center, Montego Bay and adjunct lecturer at Northern Caribbean University; email:


Link to article:

Partners of the Drink Real Milk Campaign, (from left) Richard Randohie, chief executive officer of Seprod Group of Companies; Hedda Rose Pitter, business development manager of Newport Fersan (Jamaica) Limited; Matthew Lyn, chief operations officer of CB Group and Hugh Graham, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Dairy Development Board at Terra Nova Hotel on Thursday.

The Caribbean Broilers Group, Seprod Limited, Newport Fersan and the Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB) has partnered for the launch of a ‘Drink Real Milk’ campaign aimed at reducing the country’s milk import bill by more than 33 per cent or some $2 billion by year-end.

CEO of Jamaica Dairy Development Board Hugh Graham, who met with the stakeholders at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston yesterday for the launch of the initiative, noted that Jamaica is currently spending US$52 million (J$6.2 billion) on the importation of milk and milk-based products annually, even as manufacturers continue to seek cheaper solutions from trade liberalisation.

Importation has led to a sharp and consistent decline in the annual production of local milk from 38.8 million litres in 1992 — except for the period 1996-1999 — to 12 million litres in 2013. Since then, production has varied between 12 million and 13 million litres in 2010, with 2014 and 2015 registering approximately 12 million litres each year.

The partners hope to boost dairy industry growth over the next 10 years, while reducing the food import bill, increasing national food security, increasing GDP and reducing unemployment.

In the medium term, the initiative is aimed at producing 20 million litres of local milk annually, ultimately re-establishing a sustainable and self-sufficient diary industry and increasing the demand for Jamaican milk.

CB Group, through Nutramix, will provide quality cattle feeds, while Newport Fersan, through its Precise Nutrient Management System, will provide increased pasture productivity for the little over 2,000 acres of land that have been earmarked for grazing. “This commitment includes taking samples, analysing these samples, providing nutrient programme, blending the fertiliser required, in addition to supporting the technical team at Seprod,” business development manager Hedda Rose Pitter told the audience.

“We know that the quantity and quality of milk produced by a dairy cow is directly proportionate to the food she eats, therefore the establishment and maintenance of high quality pastures is an important factor in setting the stage for high milk production,” she added. Having invested $530 million last year in expanding its product line to include whipping cream, yogurts, smoothies and cheese, Seprod has also increased its fleet of vehicles for the transportation of milk from small farmers. “What we are saying basically is you produce the milk and we are guaranteeing the market in an effort for farmers to have security around their business. This year we are investing heavily into irrigation systems for the pastures because the drought has made a huge impact on farmers in Jamaica,” Group CEO Richard Pandohie told the Jamaica Observer.

“The idea is to work with the Dairy Board and the other partners to get farmers producing more milk and when production numbers go up we will find demand for it,” he added. The ‘Drink Real Milk’ execution plan takes into consideration a production strategy to improve animal health, access to better genetic material, cost of feeding components through customised feeding programmes and proper pasture management. It also includes consumer education strategy which will assist the JDDB in its marketing intervention strategies, to increase local milk consumption from the current low average of 105 ml per day, which is one-half of the World Health Organization’s minimum requirements.

Link to article:

Partners of the Drink Real Milk Campaign, (from left) Richard Randohie, chief executive officer of Seprod Group of Companies; Hedda Rose Pitter, business development manager of Newport Fersan (Jamaica) Limited; Matthew Lyn, chief operations officer of CB Group and Hugh Graham, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Dairy Development Board at Terra Nova Hotel on Thursday.

JAMAICA’S local milk production has, since 1992, consistently been on the decline, however, the dairy industry is gearing up for a revival by way of the Drink Real Milk Campaign.

Through the efforts of its four key stakeholders — the Caribbean Broilers Group (through Nutramix), Newport-Fersan Jamaica Limited, Seprod (through Serge Island) and the Jamaica Dairy Development Board — the campaign is targeted at reviving what was once a thriving industry in Jamaica.

The campaign, which was officially launched yesterday at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, saw the brainchild of the project — Nutramix — alongside the three other major sponsors sharing with the press the plans to make a change and take the dairy industry into the future.

They all outlined their solidarity for not only embracing and promoting sustainable agricultural development but also investing time and resources in order to reduce the food import bill, increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product, reduce unemployment, especially among farmers, and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign exchange.

According to Chief Operating Officer for the CB Group Matthew Lyn, the stakeholders will be bringing together their expertise from their various operations to spearhead significant changes in the industry.

Lyn highlighted the initial challenges that preceded the CB Group’s now successful egg industry and pork products, stating that the company focused only on production, neglecting the consumer side of business which resulted in slow growth.

This was before the company decided to focus on both as a “two-pronged approach” to push their products forward.

This is the same approach that will be applied to the Drink Real Milk Campaign as efforts will be shared equally at boosting production as well as consumer awareness. The CB Group representative said that coupled with the rest of the stakeholders, the campaign, which had been in development for about two years, will be a formula for success.

“Today we are here to launch a national long-term campaign, it’s more than just getting people to drink more milk, it’s more than getting people to think about reviving the dairy industry, it’s more than just better pasture management or better breeding programmes, it’s a lot more than the story here. It’s four companies coming together to do something really good for Jamaica I want to say thank you to all the partners,” Lyn told attendees.

CEO of Seprod Group of Companies, Richard Pandohie also underscored the key ideas made by Lyn, adding that Seprod is proud to have pledged its support to the campaign which he explained is a 360-degree approach targeted at reminding consumers about the health benefits of real milk as well as revitalising the industry and the economy.

“Seprod is fully committed to the national growth agenda and continues, to innovate to reduce importations; in the last two months, for example, we’ve introduced Serge Evaporated Milk, the only evaporated milk on the market with real milk, our investment in over $500 million in Serge factories and farm in the last 12 months have set the platforms for some exciting innovations over the next six months,” Pandohie said.

Business Development Manager at Newport Fersan Jamaica Limited Hedda Rose Pitter stated that while many people would not have known about the challenges faced by the dairy industry over the past 20 years, the presence of the stakeholders signified that the milk industry has not died but instead is on the verge of rebirth.

“At Fersan, we believe in sustainable agriculture and the nation’s food security and that is why we continue to lend our support to the Jamaica, agricultural sector. Our decision to be a part of the Drink Real Milk Campaign is simple, we have a pivotal role to play in the sustainability of Jamaica’s food ministry and milk is no exception,” Rose Pitter said in her remarks.

She pointed out that as the only manufacturer of fertiliser in Jamaica Fersan ensures that each day their agronomy and sales team are focused on improving productivity and ensuring that farmers use sound agricultural practices. Additionally, she stated that through their Precise Management System, programmes will be provided for optimum pasture productivity on more than 2000 acres reserved for grazing for dairy cows.

According to CEO for the Jamaica Dairy Development Board, Hugh Graham, the board once considered a generic milk campaign around 2013 but it was not yet the right time to push the industry forward. Graham highlighted that with the partnership with Drink Right Campaign there is now a growing path to push the dairy industry ahead.

“This campaign will benefit our dairy farmers who toil relentlessly to make a living, who have to put up sometimes without any sleep because they are concerned they are going to lose cows overnight. It supports the economy far more than any model that is based on importation,” Graham stated.

“The Jamaica Dairy Development Board unreservedly endorses this campaign and are proud to be named partners in this nation-building campaign with our private sector partners,” he said.


Photo: Mark Bell
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB), Hugh Graham (right); is joined by (from left) CEO, Seprod Group of Companies, Richard Pandohie; Business Development Manager, Newport Fersan Jamaica Limited, Hedda Rose Pitter; and Chief Operating Officer, CB Group, Matthew Lyn, in consuming glasses of milk during the launch of the ‘Drink Real Milk’ campaign at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St. Andrew today (Jan. 28).

Dairy farmers are being encouraged to use proper pasture management techniques in order to boost milk production and improve herd quality.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jamaica Dairy Development Board (JDDB), Hugh Graham, made the call, while speaking to JIS News at the launch of the ‘Drink Real Milk’ educational campaign at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel in St. Andrew today (Jan. 28).

He noted, for example, that farmers do not typically fertilise their pastures. “They will fertilise other crops but never the pastures. The grass and the legumes on the pastures are crops and have to be treated as such, so we have to look at how to manage the soil, how to manage the crop so you can maximize yield,” he pointed out.

He noted that once pasture yield is maximised “you are able to have better nutrition for the animals and the animals will, in turn, give you more milk or more meat,”

Mr. Graham told JIS News that programmes are already in place to provide assistance to farmers in this regard. He said farmers are also receiving support to combat recurrent drought conditions, with new varieties of fodder provided. “We have new drought-tolerant varieties (such as)brachiaria species (and) the mulato two…those we have introduced quite successfully in some areas,” he said.

He informed that farmers are also being assisted to establish fodder banks, “for instance, sugarcane, which they will grow and use during that period when the drought is on. We have …included equipment where you chop the forage up to feed it to the animals thereby you improve on the digestibility of the feed.”

Mr. Graham said the JDDB also provides technical assistance such as the modernising and upgrading of milking and cooling equipment. In addition, players in the industry are benefiting from training to ensure that they adhere to best practices and international production standards. Mr. Graham informed that there are approximately 100 dairy farmers in the island, who supply milk to processors. “Our statistics really only cover the supply to the processors because under Jamaican law, you cannot sell unpasteurised milk and that is why from the farm, its delivered or the processors pick it up and then they take it to the next level,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the JDDB CEO said the agency will continue to partner with the agricultural schools and the 4-H clubs to establish their dairies as centres for best practices. “We have already delivered 25 heifers to all except the Jamaica 4H Clubs and we are working very closely with them in terms of training,” he informed. The Drink Real Milk’ campaign is a partnership involving CB Group (through Nutramix), Seprod Limited (through Serge Island), Newport Fersan Jamaica Limited and the Jamaica Dairy Development Board. The goals of the campaign are: to increase awareness and demand for Jamaican milk; produce 20 million litres locally annually; and create a sustainable and self- sufficient industry.

The JDDB was established in 2009 to promote and foster the development of the dairy sector with particular emphasis on promoting local milk production and achieving efficiencies in the production, processing, marketing and other trade in dairy products.

Link to article:



Send Us A Message If You Have Any Inquiries!

    • Subscribe error, please review your email address.


      You are now subscribed, thank you!


      There was a problem with your submission. Please check the field(s) with red label below.


      Your message has been sent. We will get back to you soon!