Table of Contents


Find also the “Dairy (cattle)” and "Dairy (goats and sheep)" chapter in the Livestock section.


1. Overview

“Milk producers” are milk farmers. “Milk processors” buy milk from producers and process it for the retail market. Some role players, of course, are both, and the reader will find many of these listed under heading 5 (see the “Dairies and milk processors” subheading). In order to survive, many farmers have extended their activities beyond the farmgate and are involved in both the “field” and “fork” parts of the value chain.

This chapter covers the processing side, the dairy secondary industry: milk powder, flavoured milk, cheese, cottage cheese, feta cheese, maas (Amazi), yoghurt, evaporated and condensed milk, cheese powder, buttermilk, cream, sour cream, butter, and milk itself – pasteurised, long-life or ultra-high temperature treated (UHT).


2. International business environment


3. Local business environment

Find the monthly “Dairy Market Trends” at and the Quarterly Review at

  •  Cheese and long-life are milk champions. Find the annual Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) outlook scenarios at


4. Notes on adding value to your milk

Milk is a “cash crop” and most people are users and cash buyers (including your neighbours!) The question is: should you sell fresh milk or add value by producing and selling fermented products (amasi, yoghurt, cream cheese)?

Adding value to your milk

You can nearly double your turnover on the same amount of milk with relatively little extra cost of pasteurising and additives, and definitely make money out of a small-scale dairy.

Some considerations:

  • There is also the cost of additives – culture medium, stabiliser, flavourant (like vanilla) and yellow colouring agent.
  • Keep an eye on Eskom costs in future – pasteurizers chew power!
  • Competition from the “Big boys” means that making milk-powder, long-life milk and butter is not recommended, even if you could afford the very expensive equipment.

What is needed for producing fermented products?

  1. Firstly a nearby market that will buy your product
  2. Electricity from Eskom – not generated off diesel or petrol power (too expensive)!
  3. A Batch Pasteurizer – say big enough for 1 or 2 days milk production 4. A warm room (for Amasi) to mature the fermented product; (or your thermostatically controlled batch pasteurizer for other products like yoghurt).
Source: AXXON


5. National strategy and government contact


6. Associations involved


7. Training and research

  • Agricultural Colleges like GADI do dairy  processing training. Find the list of these institutions in the “Agricultural education and training” chapter.
  • Andrew Murray Consulting Tel: 028 312 3064 Specialist fields include the processing of dairy products particularly where such unit operations as heat exchange, pasteurisation or evaporation take place.
  • ARC-Animal Production (Irene) Department: Dairy Technology Tel: 012 672 9251 Training and research is done on the processing of yoghurt, cheese, fresh milk and other milk products.
  • Cheese Academy Tel: 084 626 4931
  • Cheesemaking South Africa Tel: 084 952 4685 See also related websites and
  • Dairy Cheret Tel: 011 314 8612/7/8 Dairy Cheret offers cheese and yoghurt manufacturing courses. They are also the sole supplier of Danisco products.
  • FoodBev Tel: 011 253 7300 FoodBev is the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) responsible for facilitating education and training in the food and beverages manufacturing sector, which includes dairy manyfacturing.
  • SAMPRO Training Tel: 012 991 4164 Find lists of training aids and learning material on the website.
  • Stellenbosch University Department of Food Science Tel: 021 808 3578
  • University of the Free State Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology Division of Food Science Tel: 051 401 2692 / 3261


8. Companies involved

Dairies and Milk Processors

For makers of goat and sheep milk cheese, see the “Goat and sheep dairy” chapter.

Ingredients, equipment & other


9. Websites and publications

Visit the websites of role players listed in this chapter.