In most Countries, milk production is mostly carried out in rural areas from where it is transported to the milk processing plant. In India, milk is regularly collected and transported twice a day, morning and evening. The usual methods of milk collection and reception at a dairy plant are:
- Milk procurement through individual producers: In this case, milk is brought to the dairy plant by the individual producers in their own vessels of any type. This is possible for those producers who are located nearby milk collection centre.
- Milk collected through co-operative organizations: In this case, one or more co-operative societies form an organization which is responsible for the uninterrupted supply of milk to the dairy plant. This system is beneficial to the producers due to the absence of middle men.
- Milk procured through contractors: In this method, the contractor supplying milk to the dairy plant collects the milk from producers at a cheaper rate and transports the milk to the dairy. The presense of such contractors (middle men) mean lesser return to the milk producers.
- Milk reception from milk collection/chilling centres: This method is generally possible and is prevalent in organized sectors and dairy operations in India.
Milk is collected at various milk collection centres from nearby villages in 40 litre cans. It is weighed, tested for fat content and kept ready to be dispatched to the milk chilling centre. This milk is then picked from these collection centres in an open truck and brought to the milk chilling centre or dairy plant, where milk cans are emptied, washed through can washer and sent back to milk collection centres.