5 June 2020
Dear fellow producers,
Thank you so much for the generous contributions and pledges of milk towards helping to feed the most vulnerable people in our country during the COVID-19 lockdown. Our donations have been well received and have gone a long way towards alleviating some hunger and desperation. We have also been receiving due credit, publicly, for our contributions and I have no doubt that this initiative has significantly boosted the image of dairy producers, our industry, and product. It would be wonderful if we could keep the momentum going forward. Many producers have already pledged their support up until as far as December and we sincerely appreciate that.
It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties that come with it, will be with us for many months to come and that producers will have a crucial role to play in feeding the nation. Project One as an initiative of the dairy producers and the dairy industry collectively, can continue to make a positive contribution towards alleviating food insecurity and malnourishment, which has been compounded during the national lockdown.
Project One has now reached a point where our donated milk is being distributed all over the country. Our aim is still to distribute the milk as close to where it came from, as possible. We are extremely grateful for the unselfish donations from our producers and want to assure you that your milk donation is being handled by reliable and vetted charities that have been carefully chosen to support us in distributing our milk donation and every drop of milk is accounted for.
We are unbelievably grateful to our processors that have come on board, as they are absolutely key to assist us in transporting, processing, packaging, and distributing of our milk donations. Everyone knows that this is very expensive and we would not have been able to successfully get this project going without their support.
We appeal to the producers and processors not yet involved in this project to join or partner with us in this initiative. If you would like to become involved in Project One, we include the following steps to provide clarity on how the process unfolds for your information:
1.The producer contacts his/her regional MPO manager (via telephone, WhatsApp, or email) before 25 June offering his/her donation.
2. The producer will be required to provide the following details:
• Name of his/her processor
• Where the producer would prefer his/her donation to go to
(Many producers have indicated that they would like their donations to be distributed in their surrounding communities, which makes sense and can be done in most cases, but it will still need to be pooled to get practical volumes together. In some cases, where the milk can’t be brought back to nearby communities it will still be received by people that are in dire need of help.)
• The producers preferred increment of donation e.g. 0,2% per month for 5 months, or 1% for 1 month etc.
• The producer will also be required to sign a letter of consent (included as annexure to this letter).
3. The regional member manager will coordinate with the relevant processor on practical volumes, product, distribution etc.
4. The regional member manager will report back to the producer on logistics and progress, keeping the donator informed at all times. As mentioned before, every single litre will be acknowledged and accounted for.
5. The regional member managers will also report all donations with photos to the MPO PR representative to spread the good news and progress regularly on the MPO’s social media platforms, and via possible radio interviews (refer to progress reports listed at the end of this letter).
Any other donations e.g. financial donations that we have received from other donors (Back-a-buddy, MPO regional savings, corporate sponsors etc.), who have supported Project One, will be added to the pool.
The MPO has welcomed the request of the dairy producers to drive and oversee this project on their behalf, and has not only overseen and positively promoted the project and the image of dairy, but has also assisted with negotiations with numerous processors. The MPO has now started a crowdfunding page to try and raise even more funds to contribute to the donations that the dairy producers are making and to increase the reach of the project.
Crowdfunding unfortunately does not happen on its own and it will require all of us to promote and distribute this link (https://www.backabuddy.co.za/The-Milk-Producers-Organisation) as far and wide and often as possible on all our communication platforms to friends, family, and networks so that everyone, whether they are in the dairy industry or not, can get the opportunity to contribute to the cause.
So, we can choose to plan for the worst (and hope it never happens) or we can do nothing and then run the very real risk of crying over our spilled milk.
Please follow these links to view some of the positive work that the dairy producers have contributed to so far:
Kokstad Dairy Producers:
Cedarville Dairy Producers:
Mooi River Dairy Producers:
Woodlands Dairy Producers:
Fairfield Dairy Producers and the Angels Care Centre:
Fairfield Dairy and the Action in isolation project:
Fairfield and the Umgeni Relief Network:
Cradock Dairy Producers:
Eastern Cape Dairy Producers:
Woodlands Dairy: Uitenhage
Lancewood: Nompumelelo village, Mandela Park
KZN Midlands: Khulisani/Farm2You, a Midlands dairy farm
Underberg Producers Association:
Zwartberg Producers Association:
Umgeni relief fund:
Ixopo Highflats Producers’ Association:
Published on Fri, 5th Jun 2020 - 15:48