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

  •, website of the International Dairy Federation provides global dairy statistics.
  • A sister website, 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
  • Global Dairy Trade
  • 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 The Quarterly Review, prepared by the MPO and SAMPRO (see heading 6), does the same. Find it at
  • The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Baseline 2018-2027 includes an overview of global milk and dairy products (see from page 75). Find the document at


3. Local business environment

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

  • The South African milk market can be disaggregated into 2 segments: Liquid milk products (including pasteurised milk, UHT milk, yoghurt and buttermilk) account for just over 60% of total dairy consumption, while concentrated products (including cheese, butter, milk powders and condensed milk) make up the remaining 40%. The share of liquid milk products has increased consistently over the past decade, from 55% in 2007, to 61% in 2017.
  • Over the next decade the market will continue to trade in a fine balance between supply and demand. Therefore, given the high sensitivity to climate and macroeconomic factors that influence demand, prices are likely to remain volatile going forward.
  • Supported by rising income levels and swift urbanisation, cheese consumption increased by 81% over the past 10 years.
Source: Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) Baseline 2018-2027


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.

  • 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] for the publication Processing of Dairy (Butter, cream, buttermilk, cheese, yogurt, milk and milk powder), available from ARC-Agricultural Engineering.
  • Agricultural Research Council. 2018. "Agro-processing of dairy: getting to grips with basic terminology". Available at
  • The 6th in the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF)’s Agricultural Marketing Extension Training Papers is about marketing dairy products. Find the document on the under “Resource centre” and “General publications” at
  • Cheese making kits can be ordered at
  • Find certified Halaal establishments at and
  • Buy the publication Dairy Processing which outlines traditional methods of processing milk (butter, cheese, yoghurt etc) from Practical Action Publishing at
  • The DAFF-NAMC TradeProbe occasionally looks at dairy products. Find issue 64 from 2016 which looked at the trade in whey at

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