The aim of this work was to assess the milking process in an agricultural cooperative in Lavras, Minas Gerais state. The study was done between August and November/2004, employing a qualitative research methodology that involved the researchers and the cooperative’s employees. Process management promotes the organization and management of information in the company, favoring cost administration and control. The study presented some lines with average costs above R$ 1.51/Km, and others below. This fact could impair the efficiency of the process. To ensure quality, legal parameters were defined, through laboratory analysis, to classify the milk. The observance of the strong and weak points are the best way to maximize the organization’s efficiency. However, these weak points deserve special attention from the CAARG’s decision makers in order to guarantee the cooperative’s performance. The main strategies implemented were financing and allowance of the outgoing tanks, combined with payment according to the volume and quality of the milk. Nevertheless, vertical integration should be adopted through supply contracts or quota definition, which is extremely important in guaranteeing not only the supply, but mainly the quality of the raw-material.


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