- South Africa’s dairy industry compares favourably with the world’s top dairy industries in farming methods and processing of dairy products.
- Dairy farming occurs throughout South Africa with the highest concentration being in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (MPO, 2017).
- Holstein Friesians and Jerseys are the predominant breeds, followed by Ayrshires, Guernseys, SA Dairy Swiss and Dairy Shorthorn.
- The number of milk producers in South Africa in 2017 was 1 593, employing more than 30 000 workers and milking some 671 000 cows (MPO, 2017).
- Processors and distributors of milk and milk products process milk from the farmers and sell it to consumers nationwide.
- Internationally the South African farmer still produces milk at one of the lowest prices in the world.
- The dairy industry in South Africa operates under free market principles. Subsidised dairy imports from European countries and the USA put enormous pressure on local producers.
- Africa is responsible for only 1% of the world’s dairy output, and half of that comes from South Africa.
International business environment
Websites which will help you:
- www.fil-idf.org, website of the International Dairy Federation provides global dairy statistics.
- A sister websites, 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.
- www.globaldairytrade.info, “the globally connected marketplace for dairy”
- The annual Lacto Data from the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO) provides useful perspectives on the global dairy situation. Find these at www.mpo.co.za. The 2017 one is here.
- The monthly Dairy Market Trends provides 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 heading 7), does the same. Find it at www.milksa.co.za.
- The Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP)’s annual Baseline analyses the domestic outlook in context of what is happening globally. Find the document at www.bfap.co.za.
Local business environment
Dairy producers have a number of marketing opportunities:
- Sell direct to consumers. Producers can build a sound relationship with local customers.
- Sell to a retailer e.g. a small café or supermarket
- Sell to a processor.
- Value adding through processing (see the “Dairy processing” chapter in the Value Add section of this website)
- Value adding through packaging. Put milk or other product in attractive and functional packaging (see the “Packaging & handling systems” chapter in the Farm infrastructure section of this website).
The benefits of participating in the milk recording scheme
Milk recording is of utmost importance not only to the individual farmer, but also to the entire dairy industry.
- Milk recording provide the farmer with up-to date information on milk yield and milk composition (fat and protein %, lactose, Urea and somatic cell counts). This information provides the basis for informed herd management and profitability;
- It increases herd profitability through maximising genetic improvement;
- It helps the farmer maintain low herd somatic cell count by monitoring individual cow SCC and taking appropriate action in time;
- It creates the possibility of corrective pairing;
- Producers who join the scheme get an increase in the value of their animals (buyers are inclined to pay more for animals where additional information such as performance test results and breeding values is available.
Joining the scheme Participation does not require exceptional skills. The farmer only needs to keep basic records such as the testing date. Since not all farmers can afford the time and /or manpower to do milk recording, Agricultural Research Council (ARC) technicians/milk recorders can do the test for you. The farmer pays for the delivery and testing of the samples, the control and maintenance of standards and the processing of the data.
In addition to the ARC, SA Stud Book also runs a milk recording schemes. See here.
For the newcomer
The Milk SA Guide to Dairy Farming (2nd edition) is available at www.milksa.co.za/content/milk-sa-guide-dairy-farming-2nd-edition.
The Transformation Handbook for the South African Dairy Industry 2014/15 “serves as a practical guide for people who would like to become involved in empowerment and transformation of black people in the South African dairy industry, and for black entrepreneurs who need practical guidance in this regard”. This can be downloaded at http://www.milksa.co.za/content/transformation-handbook-south-african-dairy-industry-201415.
The Code of Practice for Milk Producers is also available on the Milk SA website. This sets out requirements for the milking shed, the milking parlour, the milk room, and also lists good dairy farming practice.
Find the many publications at www.kzndard.gov.za/resource-centre/guideline-documents. These include
- Applied Ruminant Nutrition for Dairy Cows
- Breeding and Selection of Dairy Cows
- Breeds of Dairy Cattle
- Calf Rearing
- Characteristics of Common Roughages for Dairy Cows in KZN
- Concentrates for Dairy Cattle
- Condition Scoring of Dairy Cows
- Dairy Farm Record Keeping
- Dairy Herd Structure – Dairy Herd Dynamics
- Dairying in KwaZulu-Natal
- Fodder Production
- Planning for the Dairy Herd
- Grass Silage Mineral and Vitamin Nutrition Of Dairy Cattle
- Oestrus Detection
- Pasture Systems for Dairying in KZN
- Practical Feeding of the Dairy Cow
- Rearing Dairy Replacement Heifers
- Ruminant Digestion
- The National Dairy Cattle Performance and Progeny Testing Scheme
- Total Mixed Rations for Dairy Cattle
The 6th of the Agricultural Marketing Extension Papers on www.daff.gov.za is a document about marketing dairy products. Find more on this and other documents from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) under heading 10.
National strategy and government contacts
Find government links under “Featured links” at www.mpo.co.za.
- Find information about the various directorates of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) at www.daff.gov.za.
- National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) Tel: 012 341 1115 www.namc.co.za
- The development of small-scale dairy processors featured in the Department of Trade & Industry’s Industrial Policy Action Plans (IPAPs) for 2015/16 – 2017/18. Find the document at www.thedti.gov.za.
- International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) Tel: 012 394 3600 (trade remedies) Tel: 012 394 3720 (tariff investigations) www.itac.org.za Itac’s core business is to create an enabling environment for fair trade through customs tariff investigations, trade remedies and import and export control.
- Competition Commission Tel: 012 394 3200 www.compcom.co.za
- Department of Health Tel: 012 395 8799 / 89 www.health.gov.za
Find news of government’s One Household Two Dairy Cows programme in the articles Dairy parlour, cattle handed over to Eastern Cape community and Committee welcomes One Household One Hectare policy.
Milk SA Tel: 012 460 7312 www.milksa.co.za The Members of Milk SA comprise the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO) and the SA Milk Processors’ Organisation (SAMPRO).
- Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO) Tel: 012 843 5600 www.mpo.co.za Contact details of management in the provincial branches, events and news by province and at national level can be found on the website.
- Find details of SAMPRO in the “Dairy processing” chapter.
South African Society of Dairy Technology (SASDT) http://sasdt.co.za
The National Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) and the dairy industry have been devising the South African National Standard: SANS 1694, The welfare of dairy cattle. This Standard aims to standardise the dairy industry in terms of animal welfare. Visit www.nspca.co.za.
Training and research
- Agriskills Transfer Tel: 012 460 9585 www.agriskills.net
- ARC-Animal Production (Irene) Annetjie Loubser – 012 672 9153 www.arc.agric.za The dairy unit also offers facilities for research to all stakeholders in the dairy industry. Individual feed intake and milk production can be recorded for research purposes. The dairy unit also provides opportunities for hands on training in all aspects of dairy farming. A three-day course which deals with Dairy Management is run at Irene.
- Amadlelo Agri www.amadlelo.co.za Hands-on training offered to black farmers from around the country.
- The Fort Hare Dairy Trust (FHDT) is a partnership between farmers from the Tsitsikamma and Underberg areas, their workers, an empowerment group called Vuwa Investments and the University of Fort Hare. See www.amadlelo.co.za.
- Future Farmers Foundation, one of the great success stories in South African agriculture. See www.futurefarmersfoundation.com. Find the article “Future farmers: a coming of age” and the CEO’s letter to the Agri Handbook here. Also find the interview done by Cari van Wyk for Bizcommunity under heading 10.
- Grootfontein Agricultural Development Institute (GADI) Tel: 049 842 1113 http://gadi.agric.za
- Milk SA Training and Development Tel: 012 460 7312 See the dairy processing chapter.
- MPO Institute for Dairy Technology and Centre for Producer Development (CenDel) Tel: 012 843 5600 www.mpo.co.za The aim here is “to keep farmers farming, keeping the farmer on his farm, and putting him in the position to make money”.
- Nelson Mandela University (NMU) School of Natural Resource Management, Maryna Lehmann Tel: 044 801 5055 www.mandela.ac.za
- NOSA Agricultural Services Tel: 033 345 8990/9238 www.nosaagri.co.za
- The Provincial Departments of Agriculture work closely with the Agricultural Colleges to present short courses on Dairy Production, often in an African language e.g. the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Cedara offer a small-scale dairying course in Zulu, Dairy Production (basic and advanced) and Dairy Processing. Glen College offers dairy management courses. Find contact details for all Agricultural Colleges in the “Agricultural education and training” chapter.
- Rothman Livestock Training Services www.rltsafrica.com
- Stellenbosch University Department: Food Science Tel: 021 808 3578 www.sun.ac.za/foodsci
- University of Fort Hare Department of Livestock and Pasture Science Tel: 040 602 2134 www.ufh.ac.za
- University of the Free State (UFS) Department of Animal, Wildlife and Grassland Sciences Tel: 051 401 2211 www.ufs.ac.za/animal
- UFS Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Development and Extension Tel: 051 401 3765 www.ufs.ac.za/censard
- UFS Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology Tel: 051 401 2396 www.ufs.ac.za/biotech
- UFS Paradys Experimental Farm Tel: 051 443 9011
- University of KwaZulu-Natal Animal and Poultry Science Tel: 033 260 5792 www.ukzn.ac.za
- University of Pretoria: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences Tel: 012 420 4018, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development Tel: 012 420 3251, Department of Microbiology and Plant Pathology Tel: 012 420 4100
University of Pretoria: Faculty of Veterinary Science Department of Production Animal Studies Tel: 012 529 8262 www.veterinary.up.ac.za Find the article “Healthy cows ensure quality milk” which informs on the Department’s Milk Laboratory.
See also the dairy processing chapter.
- AXXON/MILKING Tel: 011 837 7177 / 6 Fax: 011 837 3100 www.axxon.co.za Install and supply large and small milking parlours plus spares
- BALIMI BONKE Tel: 083 736 2638 www.facebook.com/BalimiBonke/ Supply and refurbish milking parlours
- Central Milk Tel: 013 246 1094 www.centralmilk.com
- Coastal Milking Equipment Tel: 044 873 3760
- Delaval Tel: 031 003 1850 www.delaval.co.za
- John F Marshall Tel : 011 842 7100 www.johnfmarshall.co.za Portable cow milking trolley. Milks one to two cows at a time.
- GW du Preez Consultants Trust Tel: 082 302 7883 www.investindairycattle.co.za An independent dairy cattle broker
- Guth SA Tel: 011 477 4923 www.guth.co.za Dairy equipment, pumps, valves
- Interfab Tel: 011 477 1060 www.interfab.co.za Milk silos, milk transport tankers
- Kwikelec Tel: 041 365 7394 www.kwikelec.co.za Installation of dairy farm (including processing) equipment
- Mérieux NutriSciences Previously Lactolab Tel: 011 805 4310 www.lactolab.co.za Dairy analytical services for milk buyers as well as for milk recording purposes
- LP Dairy Solutions Tel: 082 650 2290
- Melkboer Dienste Tel: 011 949 1162 www.melkboerdienste.co.za
- Milk-Pro Tel: 011 566 2022 www.milk-pro.com “An affordable, simple-to-use and profitable means for packaging, pasteurising and chilling up to 1 000 litres of milk per day”
- NutriCo SA Tel: 011 392 4072 www.nutrico.co.za Dietary supplement for dairy cattle
- Oos-Kaap Melkmasjiene Tel: 042 291 1522
- Orion Elektro Diesel Tel: 048 881 4505
- Overberg Melkery Toerusting Tel: 028 514 2895
- Packo RSA Tel: 058 852 4907 http://packorsa.co.za Contact details of dealers across the country and in Namibia can be found on the website.
- Rothman Livestock Training Services www.rltsafrica.com Consulting services
- Streamline Milking Services Tel: 022 482 1568
- Strydom Melkmasjiene Tel: 051 522 7405
- Taurus Evolution Tel: 051 430 4515 www.taurus-evolution.co.za
- Total Dairy Solutions Tel: 058 853 0624
Total Pipeline Industries (TPI) Tel: 028 722 1371 www.dairymaster.com Dairymaster milking systems
Websites and publications
- Find the annual Dairy Market Value Chain Profile on DAFF’s Directorate Marketing web pages at www.daff.gov.za. The excellent Agricultural Marketing Extension publications are under the “Resource Centre” option. Training Paper No. 6 covers dairy marketing. Under the “Info Paks” option on the same website find “Rules for clean handmilking”, “Methods of tick control in cattle”, “How to estimate the age of cattle” and “Condition scoring of cattle“.
- Find the Milk SA Guide to Dairy Farming – 2nd edition and many other publications, videos and podcasts on the Milk SA website, www.milksa.co.za.
- The Dairy Mail is a monthly publication for dairy farmers. Call 012 843 5600 or visit www.agriconnect.co.za.
- Contact the ARC in Irene at 012 672 9111 for the Annual Milk Cattle Bulletin (complete set of Bulletins, available in Afrikaans or English)
- Call 012 842 4017 or email iaeinfo [at] arc.agric.za for the following publications, available from the ARC in Silverton: (i) Handleiding oor melkbeesfasiliteite (ii) Dairy cattle facilities manual (iii) Lae-koste melkverkoeling (iv) Small-scale milking shed (v) Kleinskaalse melkstal (vi) Manure handling in intensive animal production units, written by HT Breedt, edited and revised by F Cilliers. In its treatment of dairy cattle, this invaluable book looks at the dairy building, housing facilities and the design of flushing systems for dairy housing.
- Kejafa Knowledge Works has numerous livestock publications including Getting Started with Beef and Dairy Cattle, Dairy Cattle Manual, Udder Health and Natural Cattle Care. Visit www.kejafa.com.
- Find the annual Dairy Market Value Chain Profile on the Directorate Marketing web pages at www.daff.gov.za. The excellent Agricultural Marketing Extension publications are under the “Resource Centre” option. Training Paper No. 6 covers dairy marketing. Under the “Info Paks” option on the same place find Guidelines for handmilking procedures and Rules for clean handmilking.
- The consumer education project by Milk SA, www.rediscoverdairy.co.za.
- Watch the Nation in Conversation episode on the dairy industry (February 2017) on YouTube.
- The International Dairy Federation (IDF) has produced several publications aimed at improving environmental performance. Visit www.fil-idf.org. One of these is its Guide on Biodiversity for the Dairy Sector. The free download seeks to assist dairy industry role players in improving biodiversity management.
- Dairy Herd Management (USA) www.dairyherd.com
- Editorial. 2018, September 5. “The reality about farming in SA is food for thought”. The Citizen. Available at https://citizen.co.za/news/opinion/opinion-editorials/2004885/the-reality-about-farming-in-sa-is-food-for-thought/. Dairy farmers take a cut in the price that raw milk is bought – while consumers pay more at the same time. “Something is not right here”, says this editorial.
- NBC News. 2018, June 29.”The Last Days Of An American Dairy Farm: ‘Hard To Believe It’s Over’”. NBC News. Available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEI6HbCZjRQ
- Phillips, L. 2017, December 29. “Getting by with a little help from his friend”. Farmer’s Weekly. An inspiring story of an erstwhile taxi driver who became a taxi owner and then a dairy farmer under the mentorship of his commercial farmer neighbour.
- Van Wyk, C. 2016. “#YouthMonth: For the love of farming and making a difference”. Bizcommunity. Available at www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/358/147029.html.
- Issue 5 (June 2016) of Agripreneur features the article “The Story of Ma-Ande investments” about a dairy enterprise near Kokstad. Find the document at www.namc.co.za.
- Hollins, G. 2014, June 19. “Breathing life back into the villages of Ncora”. Farmer’s Weekly. Available at www.farmersweekly.co.za/agri-business/agribusinesses/breathing-life-back-into-the-villages-of-ncora/
Sources for the chapter: the websites listed in this chapter; Agricultural Marketing Extension. Training Paper No. 6 Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF); correspondence to this project by the Animal Production directorate at DAFF.