About this good practice
Cretan economy is specialized in the agri-food. Cheese-factories transform milk, collected within neighbouring sheep farmers, into dairy products to be sold internally and exported. The transformation process generates a by-product: whey; which needs to be properly disposed. The competent RoC’s Directorate of Veterinary along with the Geotechnical Chamber-Branch of Crete managed to adjust the normative status in collaboration with the competent Ministry of Rural Development and Food since whey was used as an animal food only for pigs in the mainland of Greece. As a result they could authorise whey use as a food for sheep and goats which consist the main livestock capital in Crete. Whey could be transformed from a liquid waste with a high pollutant potential to a valuable product. Their call was answered by Steiakakis Cheese Industry who implemented this CE solution in his daily routine and created a network along with sheep/goat farmers for the distribution of whey, valorising a waste-stream.
The practice must meet minimum technical specifications, which are provided as guidelines for involved parties. In details, the whey, must be stored in stainless steel tanks for cooling and homogenization purpose before final disposal to farmers, which takes minimum 16 hours. Except from that, the liquid mixture must be kept at low range in PH scale, less than PH6. Transportation procedure must be kept in relative small distance for avoiding exposure in extreme weather conditions
A tank to collect whey is needed, allowing for a proper distribution to farmers. An isothermal tank for transportation purpose and a new feeding line in the farmer’s facilities.
Evidence of success
The circular practice represents a win-win solution: farmers have a free-of-charge nutrient for the sheep/goats, while the companies have an easy to implement solution (to eliminate the mis-practice of throwing the whey in the land) in order to manage a liquid waste and transform it to an animal food product.
A cooperation environment is established among animal breeders, cheese industries and the public sector.
Potential for learning or transfer
The potential for learning relates to the collaboration between sectoral stakeholders: companies and breeders, as well as among competent public sector authorities. The joint action of all the actors allowed for the discovery and the implementation of an easy-to perform circular solution.