Savour Bhutan Koufuku cheese block hits the market

The samples of the processed cheese block have been released for trial

The Koufuku International Limited (KIL), a dairy processing plant at Chenary in Trashigang, has started producing processed cheese block starting this month and the samples of the Savour Bhutan processed block cheese have been released for trial in the market yesterday.

KIL, a Druk Holding & Investments owned company, is venturing into this business as the import of cheese is the highest among other dairy products in the country and the company plans to substitute the import of cheddar-flavored cheese such as Amul, Britannia and Go from India.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KIL, UgyenDhendup said the country imports processed cheese worth Nu 1.6bn annually and that the import could be easily substituted if the factory produces processed cheese.

“We are going to supply the processed cheese to schools, restaurants, Dratshangs and hotels, and the Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited,” he said.

He said if the company does well with this product, it would also contribute to the country’s economy by reducing import, adding that the main target of the company is to reduce the import of cheese from India.

Meanwhile, the factory is targeting to produce around 700kg of processed cheese in a day, 5,000kg in a week and 20,000kg in a month. With the improved quality of the milk and a ready market, KIL targets to go on full production.

UgyenDhendup said when they can create such markets, it directly benefits the farmers and there is empowerment of rural economy.

“If we can assure ready market, it encourages farmers to work more and produce more, which ultimately adds to the local economy,” he added.

Furthermore, the CEO said the factory is focusing on increasing the volume since everything is going smoothly in the market. As Trashigang is considered as the top milk producing dzongkhag in the country, he added that the factory is receiving enough milk to produce their products.

Meanwhile, of more than 25 functional dairy groups in the dzongkhag, about 12 dairy groups supply milk to KIL, comprising 300 households. The company has a requirement capacity of 4,000 liters of milk a day. Initially, the factory collected only about 2,000 liters of milk a day, but today the factory collects more than 3,000 liters of milk each day.

Further, the company is now also planning to bring in milk from other nearby dzongkhags of Mongar and Trashiyangtse.

Meanwhile, the dairy processing plant was first started in 2015 as a joint venture between Druk Holding & Investments and Japanese counterpart SNBL.

Jigme Wangchen from Thimphu