TH Group ‘super cows’ lead the way for dairy industry

March 21, 2017 | 08:00
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Locally-owned TH Group has played a pioneering role in Vietnam’s organic fresh milk production market, through its unique high-yield cow embryo technology.
TH Group’s high-yield dairy cows can produce 12,000-13,000 litres of milk per cow, per year

Upon announcing the successful development of this high-yield embryo, TH Group received a golden trophy from the Vietnam Association for Organic Agriculture, for achievements in developing organic cows with a view to improving community health.

TH Group’s efforts first reaped rewards in September 2016, when a farm in Nghia Dan district of the central province of Nghe An saw the birth of the first organic calf in Vietnam. The calf was named “True Organic” by TH Group’s chairwoman Thai Huong, and is the ancestor of the group’s first fresh organic milk-producing animals.

Since then, TH Group has developed more than 1,000 organic dairy cows, making for the largest organic dairy cow herd in Vietnam. It is expected that figure will triple within the next year.

“TH Group has laid a firm foundation for Vietnam’s organic fresh milk industry. TH is also the only firm in the country who has developed its organic cow production under European and US organic standards,” said Hoang Thanh Van, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Livestock Production Department.

Tal Cohen, director of the group’s TH Foodstuff JSC, said that in December 2015 TH Group initiated the production of organic fresh milk under Europe’s EC 834-2007 and EC 889-2008 standards, and also under the US standard USDA-NOP.

In 2015, TH Group began transforming its fields, planting animal feeds in line with European and US standards. All plants cultivated are free from genetic modification, pesticides, and grown without the use of chemical fertilizers. Animal stock is now pastured under all-organic standards.

Ha Phuc Mich, chairman of Vietnam Association for Organic Agriculture, said that TH Group’s production of organic cows and fresh milk is “a milestone in Vietnam’s milk industry”.

“All products can meet international standards, because all production stages are conducted under international standards,” Mich said.

On October 26, 2016, the Netherlands’ Control Union, a global network of inspection operations and dedicated laboratories, granted a certificate to TH Group – for meeting all European and US organic standards for animal husbandry.

TH Group is expecting to acquire an additional certification later this month for their organic production and products.

TH Group has imported 100 per cent of its Holstein Friesian (HF) cows from New Zealand, helping the 45,000 cow farm to produce higher fresh milk outputs overall. The animal stock now produces 30 litres per day on average. Some animals have even been capable of producing a record 69 litres per day.

At present, TH Group’s milk-producing herd has reached an average annual output of 8,000-9,000 litres, making it one of the largest producers in Southeast Asia.

In addition to conducting artificial insemination with the HF cows, TH Group has made breakthroughs by importing frozen embryos from high-yield dairy cows, and created a new breed of high-yield animals – each of which can produce 12,000-13,000 litres per year.

This output is equivalent to that seen in the US and Israel, which are among the world’s largest high-quality fresh milk producers.

“Currently, TH Group is the only firm in Vietnam that has developed this state-of-the-art breeding technology,” Van said.

TH Group has produced almost 500 calves using this method, and boasts a success rate of over 51 per cent.

“This rate is quite high, and competes on a global level. It is expected that over the next few years Vietnam will develop a large herd of high-yield dairy cows, capable of producing 12,000-13,000 litres of milk per cow, per year,” Van said.

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By By Thanh Tung

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