When I was granted permission to come on a tour I jumped up and down and immediately wrote my mom to tell her the fantastic news (she is the one who convinced me to try the milk from the get go).
When I pulled up to the gates this time and told security I was meeting Kirsten in charge of media I had the biggest smile on my face. Like I was finally getting backstage at a concert!
Kirsten was quick to greet us as I loaded up my kids into their stroller.
I was living the dream! I had so many questions about the production and farm, but I needn’t to worry as Kirsten was so thorough covering content all I could say was “wow”. I was starstruck by the camel’s. Don’t laugh! I find them such fascinating creatures, and their milk even more precious. Being a nursing mama to my babies, hearing that camel milk is the closest thing to human breast milk is the most amazing thing ever.
We donned some funny caps and shoe covers and entered the premises where the milk is filtered. First in enters through tubes to a testing facility. Each batch is thoroughly examined, and only once it has passed the test, it gets sent to the production line. Amazingly enough, they can only pump 5,000 liters of milk per day. Roughly 7 litres from each camel. I know from experience that the demand is high. Finding it at the supermarket is hit and miss, you need to be quick as it sells out fast! Apparently it is hugely popular with mother’s feeding it to their little ones. I have a secret. I just learnt that the Carrefour at Mall of the Emirates is the one that often has the most stock.
Okay back to the production! Once the milk has passed it’s test, it get’s pasteurized and then bottled. They heat it at a very special temperature so it does not lose it’s vitamins and nutritional nutrients. Some of the milk is saved for making powder which is used for chocolate. At the moment they can only make 10,000KG of powder per year. So it is VERY precious.
The camel’s at the farm are VERY well taken care of. They must be relaxed and happy as not to interfere with their milk production. If an employee yells the slightest at one of the camel’s, they are immediately fired. This is so refreshing to hear how much they pride themselves on these beautiful creatures from the region.
We then had a very nice tour of the farm. Kirsten opened a box of carrots for the camel’s. They usually eat hay, alfalfa and a vitamin supplement. Carrots are a major treat for them. My cousin and Ruby gave them a few as I was busy snapping away pictures. We were then greeted with a fantastic visit by the head vet at EICMP! This is a rare sighting I was told:)