Collecting

Daily collection by the milk tanker drivers

From farm to factory

Our milk tanker drivers are on the road 7 days a week, 24 hours of the day. They cover more than 6.6 million km per year. They collect the milk every 48 to 72 hours, following a precise route which is frequently updated. "We adapt to the constraints of farmers, taking account, for example, of their milking times", explains Pierrick Gillet, Milk Collection Manager.

Quality control begins at the farm

The milk tanker driver’s role in quality control is an essential one. At collection, the driver conducts a visual and olfactory check to ensure that the aspect of the milk is compliant. Next, he proceeds with pumping, which takes between 5 and 15 minutes, depending on the quantity of milk (2,000 to 12,000 litres).

Each time, he takes a sample of milk, which will be sent to an interprofessional laboratory for testing.

On-board computers ensure the traceability of these operations. The milk tanker driver notes all of these stages on the computerized roadmap.

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The milk samples taken from each farm are stored in refrigeration before being tested
The milk samples taken from each farm are stored in refrigeration before being tested

The milk tanker driver also plays a ‘postman’ role: he distributes documents sent by the cooperative to the farmers, as well as the products manufactured from their milk. All the farmers need do is place their order in advance from their cooperative.

Once the driver arrives at the plant, the tanker is weighed on a weigh-bridge. A sample is taken from the tank to check certain criteria such as the temperature and acidity of the milk. Compliant milk is emptied into large tanks capable of containing 30,000 to 200,000 litres of milk. The milk tanker driver finishes by weighting the empty vehicle, in order to be able to calculate the precise volume of milk collected.

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Following collection, the milk is emptied into large tanks, at the site at which it will be transformed
Following collection, the milk is emptied into large tanks, at the site at which it will be transformed

Before finishing his round, he prepares the tanker for the next driver: a full tank of diesel and loading of coop products to be delivered to those farmers who have placed orders.

The rounds are organised in such a way that the distance travelled by the collection tankers around the factories is as short as possible. These rounds are made using tankers capable of transporting up to 29,500 litres of milk. They are equipped with all the latest innovations – such as a high-capacity milk pump or the control panel located at the back of the vehicle, to secure operations and facilitate the task of the milk tanker drivers. Between 2012 and 2014, Eurial is investing in 16 new tankers.

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The 155 milk tanker drivers are trained in eco-driving – good practice meaning that CO² emissions can be reduced by 1,000 tons per year
The 155 milk tanker drivers are trained in eco-driving – good practice meaning that CO² emissions can be reduced by 1,000 tons per year

See the milk collection map