“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 the “Companies involved” heading. 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 page 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).
International business environment
- The top countries for cheese production are the EU and Russia. They are also the top consumers of cheese (USDA, 2021).
- The EU and New Zealand are the top cheese exporters. Russia and Japan are the top importers (USDA, 2021).
- India and the EU are the top butter producers, as well as the top butter consumers (USDA, 2021).
- New Zealand and the EU are the top butter exporters, with China and Russia being the major butter importers (USDA, 2021).
- The EU, India and New Zealand are the top dry milk producers (USDA, 2021). Dry milk exporters are the EU and New Zealand, with China and Mexico being the main importers (USDA, 2021).
- New Zealand, China and the EU are the major producers of Whole milk powder. New Zealand and the EU are the dominant exporters, while China and Algeria are the dominant importers (USDA, 2021).
- Find the annual Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) overviews of the global dairy market at www.fao.org
- www.fil-idf.org, website of the International Dairy Federation provides global dairy statistics. A sister website, www.dairy-sustainability-initiative.org provides “a global framework for a holistic approach to sustainability in the dairy value chain”.
- Find the current world production, market and trade reports at www.fas.usda.gov/commodities/dairy.
- Global Dairy Trade www.globaldairytrade.info/
- The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) annual baseline includes an overview of global milk and dairy products. Find the document at www.bfap.co.za.
- Rabobank produces a Dairy Quarterly. See www.rabobank.com.
South Africa: imports and exports
- Since 2015 SA has imported more than it has exported. In 2020, 60 600 tonnes of products were imported and 46 700 tonnes exported (Milk SA, 2021).
- SA exports were mostly milk and cream (46%), buttermilk and yoghurt (22%) and milk powder (17%). SA imports were whey 28%, milk powder 33%, butter 12% and cheese (11%) (Milk SA, 2021).
- The annual Lacto Data and monthly Dairy Market Trends provide the latest statistics on the dairy industry, including breakdowns of imports and exports. Find it on www.mpo.co.za. The Quarterly Review, prepared by the MPO and SAMPRO (see “Associations involved” heading), does the same. Find it at www.milksa.co.za.
Local business environment
The South African dairy market is divided into two segments; approximately 62% is utilised as liquid products, with the remaining 38% processed into concentrate products. The percentage composition of South African liquid products market currently stands as 71% processed milk (includes ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk and pasteurised milk), 24% fermented products, 3% flavoured milk, and 2% other. Cheese (60%), milk powder (14%), whey (12%) and butter (11%) take the lead in concentrated dairy products (Milk SA, 2021).
The number of producer-distributors decreased by 39% from January 2015 to January 2021. Milk buyers decreased by 18% over the same period. There was a total of 67 producer-distributors and 132 milk processors in January 2021. Producer-distributors were mostly in Gauteng (16), Western Cape (12) and Limpopo (11). Milk processors were mostly in Gauteng (39), Western Cape (35), KwaZulu-Natal (19) with the Free State and North West provinces having 11 each (Milk SA, 2021).
- Read the annual Lacto data and monthly Dairy Market Trends at www.mpo.co.za, and the Quarterly Review at www.milksa.co.za.
- The annual Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Baseline takes a look at the likely performance of fluid milk products, cheese, butter and milk powder over the next ten years. Find the document at www.bfap.co.za.
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.
- 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?
- Firstly a nearby market that will buy your product
- Electricity from Eskom – not generated off diesel or petrol power (too expensive)!
- 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).
National strategy and government contact
“The South African dairy industry is a critical contributor to food security, and production expansion has already exceeded the targets set for 2030 in the National Development Plan. In the processing space, it contributes to both value addition and employment in agro-processing”. (BFAP, 2021)
- Find details of directorates and sub-directorates in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) at www.dalrrd.gov.za.
- Documents relating to Market Requirements and Guidelines can be found on the Directorate Marketing’s web pages on the DALRRD website.
- Find the presentation on “Regulations relating to the classification, packing & marking of dairy products & imitation dairy products (R. 260 of 27 March 2015): Agricultural Product Standards Act 1990 (Act No 119 of 1990)” at www.sasdt.co.za.
- Agri-Expo www.agriexpo.co.za This agricultural society runs dairy championships and the South African Cheese Festival – visit www.cheesefestival.co.za. Their website www.cheesesa.co.za is enormously informative about the cheese industry in South Africa.
- Milk SA www.milksa.co.za Milk SA represents the primary and secondary industries.
- South African Milk Processors Organisation (SAMPRO) www.sampro.co.za
- Dairy Standard Agency www.dairystandard.co.za “Monitoring dairy safety and quality”
- South African Society of Dairy Technology (SASDT) www.sasdt.co.za
Training and research
- Agricultural Colleges like GADI do dairy processing training. Find the list of these institutions on the “Agricultural education and training” page.
- Andrew Murray Consulting www.foodengineering.co.za 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 www.arc.agric.za Training and research is done on the processing of yoghurt, cheese, fresh milk and other milk products.
- Cheesemaking South Africa http://cheesemaking.co.za See also related websites http://cheesekits.co.za/ and http://cheeseconsultant.co.za/.
- Dynamiko Food Ingredients https://dynamiko.co.za offers cheese and yoghurt manufacturing courses.
- FoodBev www.foodbev.co.za 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 manufacturing.
- SAMPRO Training www.dairytraining.co.za Find lists of training aids and learning material on the website.
- Stellenbosch University Department of Food Science www.sun.ac.za/foodsci
- University of Fort Hare (UFH) Agricultural and Rural Development Research Institute (ARDRI) www.ufh.ac.za/centres/ardri ARDI trains livestock farmers to make amasi (sour milk), yogurt and cheese.
- University of the Free State Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology Division of Food Science www.ufs.ac.za/biotech
Dairies and Milk Processors
For makers of goat and sheep milk cheese, see the “Goat and sheep dairy” page.
- Bandini Cheese www.mozzarella.co.za
- Bergen Cheese www.facebook.com/bergencheesedullstroom/
- Bosheuvel Dairy & Cheese www.bosheuvelestate.co.za
- Buffalo Ridge Cheese http://buffaloridge.co.za Buffalo cheese and dairy products
- Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses Tel: 044 878 0179
- Cairnbrogie Dairy www.cairnbrogie.co.za
- Caledon Food & Beverage / Dassiesfontein www.dassies.co.za/dairy.php
- Cape Cheese www.capecheese.co.za
- Chrissie’s Country Cheese Tel: 031 781 1791
- Clover SA www.clover.co.za
- Creighton Valley Cheese www.creightonvalleycheese.com
- Cremona Cheese www.cremonacheese.co.za
- Dairy Belle www.dairybelle.com/za/
- Dairy Corporation www.dairycorp.co.za
- Dairy Group www.dairygroup.co.za
- Dalewood Fromage http://dalewood.co.za
- Darling Romery www.darlingromery.co.za
- De Pekelaar www.depekelaar.co.za
- Denmar Dairies 058 303 2149
- Deneys Swiss Dairy www.facebook.com/deneysswiss/
- Dewfresh www.dewfresh.co.za
- Douglasdale www.douglasdale.co.za
- East Rand Milk Suppliers www.eastrandmilk.co.za
- Fair Cape www.faircape.com
- Fairfield Dairy www.fairfielddairy.com
- Fairview Cheese www.fairview.co.za
- Forest Hill Cheesery / Anura www.anura.co.za/cheese.php
- Fynboshoek Cheese http://fynboshoek.co.za
- Ganzvlei Dairy http://ganzvlei.co.za/
- Gay’s Guersney Dairy www.gaysguernseydairy.com
- Hijke Cheeses www.facebook.com/Hijke-191684350862983/
- Hoekplaas Cheesery www.hoekplaascheesery.co.za
- Indezi River Cheese Company www.indezi.co.za
- Irene Dairy www.irenefarm.co.za
- Jasmyn Plaasprodukte www.facebook.com/Jasmynmarket/
- Kasselshoop Cheese www.kasselshoop.co.za
- Klein River Cheese http://kleinrivercheese.co.za
- La Mont www.lamontcheese.co.za
- La Petite France http://lapetitefrance.co.za
- Lactalis South Africa https://lactalis.co.za, www.melrose.co.za and www.presidentcheese.co.za
- Ladismith Cheese Company (Pty) Ltd www.ladismithcheese.co.za
- Lancewood Cheese (Pty) Ltd www.lancewood.co.za
- Langbaken Karoo Cheese www.facebook.com/groups/242243985836431/
- Langeberg Kaas Tel: 028 512 3523
- Limpopo Dairy www.limpopodairy.co.za
- Marrakesh Cheese Farm www.facebook.com/marrakeshcheese/
- Milkwood Dairy www.milkwoodfarm.co.za
- Montic Dairy www.montic.co.za
- Mooi Vallei Suiwel www.mooivallei.co.za
- Morning Milk www.morningmilk.co.za
- Nestlé SA www.nestle.co.za
- Orange Grove Dairy www.orangegrove.co.za
- Puglia Cheese www.puglia.co.za
- River Glen Cheese www.riverglen.co.za
- Sonnendal Dairies www.sonnendal.co.za
- Southern African Milk Co-operative Ltd (SAMILCO) www.samelko.co.za
- Sundale Free Range Dairy Tel: 043 736 6310
- The Gourmet Greek/Blue Cow Deli thegourmetgreek.com/the-blue-cow-deli
- Transem Cheese www.transem.co.za
- Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij www.vangaalen.co.za
- Wegraakbosch Dairy www.facebook.com/wegraakbosch/
- Woodlands Dairy www.woodlandsdairy.co.za
- Zandam Cheese www.zandamcheese.co.za
Ingredients, equipment & other
- AXXON/MILKING www.axxon.co.za
- BALIMI BONKE www.facebook.com/BalimiBonke/ Small scale pasteurisation and fermented products manufacture – amasi, yoghurt, cheeses
- Berry Astrapak https://rpc-astrapak.com Milk sachets
- Central Milk www.centralmilk.com
- CJP Chemicals www.cjpchemicals.co.za
- Dynamiko Food Ingredients https://dynamiko.co.za Dairy cultures, emulsifiers, stabilisers, coagulants, milk powders, and preservatives.
- Filmatic Packaging Systems (Pty) Limited www.filmatic.com
- Finest Kind www.finestkind.co.za Ingredients and equipment
- Lab-o-Mat www.labomat.co.za Sachet machines
- Marefa www.marefa.co.za Bottle filling equipment
- National Food Products http://thehomebrewshop.co.za/ Recipes and ingredients for making cheese
- Polyoak Packaging Group www.polyoak.com
- Prime Pharma www.primepharma.co.za A wide range of products, including Preservatives, Valiren, Analytical Rapid Tests, Milk Analysers and Cultures
- SABS www.sabs.co.za Microbiological examination of foods
- Tetra Pak South Africa www.tetrapak.com Complete processing and packaging solutions
Websites and publications
Visit the websites of role players listed on this page.
- Role players like the ARC can advise with publications to do with dairy processing. The Dairy Technology department at ARC-Animal Production offers the following: (i) Dairy Product Manufacturing, a booklet for those interested in making their own cheese on kitchen scale (ii) The nutritional content of South African milk and liquid milk products and (iii) Nutritional content of South African cheeses. Call 012 672 9111.
- Call 012 842 4017 or email iaeinfo [at] arc.agric.za for the publication Agro-processing of Dairy (Butter, cream, buttermilk, cheese, yogurt, milk and milk powder), available from ARC-Agricultural Engineering.
- The 6th in the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD)’s Agricultural Marketing Extension Training Papers is Dairy Marketing. (If it doesn’t load, check under “Resource centre” and “General publications” at www.dalrrd.gov.za).
- Find the guides on cultured dairy products by Eskom at www.eskom.co.za/sites/idm/Business/Pages/Agriprocessingdiary.aspx.
- The International Finance Corporation (IFC)/Agbiz report (2019)on water efficiency in the agri-processing sector includes a look at dairy processing. Find it at https://agbiz.co.za/uploads/images/sponsors/191213_Agri-processing%20Sector%20in%20South%20Africa%2011.12.19%20Single%20pages.pdf
- Agricultural Research Council. 2018. “Agro-processing of dairy: getting to grips with basic terminology”. Available at www.arc.agric.za/Agricultural%20Sector%20News/Agro-processing%20of%20dairy%20-%20Getting%20to%20grips%20with%20basic%20terminology.pdf
- Find the Leon the Milkman blog at www.leonthemilkman.com.
- Cheese making kits can be ordered at www.cheesemaking.co.za
- Find certified Halaal establishments at www.sanha.org.za and www.halaal.org.za
- Buy the publication Dairy Processing which outlines traditional methods of processing milk (butter, cheese, yoghurt etc) from Practical Action Publishing at http://developmentbookshop.com/food-processing-and-packaging.
- Find the BMi Research reports to do with dairy products in South Africa at www.bmi.co.za.
- Ginindza B. 2021, June 9. “Clover closes SA’s biggest cheese factory due to poor service delivery by North West town”. IOL. Available atwww.iol.co.za/business-report/companies/clover-closes-sas-biggest-cheese-factory-due-to-poor-service-delivery-by-north-west-town-d737612c-a00c-4e4b-92c8-b71137d7b3f9
- Pasiya L. 2020, January 28. “A look into amasi: The history and things you can do with it”. IOL. Available at www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/food-drink/a-look-into-amasi-the-history-and-things-you-can-do-with-it-41582820
- Reporter. 2019, June 3. “How Fair Cape Dairies made its packaging more recyclable”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/162/191519.html
- CapeTalk. 2019, April 30. “Here’s why there’s a butter shortage in South Africa”. Available at www.capetalk.co.za/articles/346615/here-s-why-there-s-a-butter-shortage-in-south-africa
- Reporter. 2018, September 17. “Buttermilk and maas continues to increase in volume and value”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/168/181950.html
- Find the Leon the Milkman blog at www.leonthemilkman.com.
Share this article