MPO Milk Bulletin 10 November 2017


Imports remain high

In the first nine months of 2017, 72 676 tonnes of dairy products were imported into South Africa. This is 63% more than during the same period in 2016. Exports during the first nine months stand at 133 634 tonnes, 3% up on 2016. If the same trend continues, exports will exceed imports by 43 million litres on a milk-equivalent basis.

 New Exco elected for SA Studbook

Mr Freddie Wasserfall, who is also president of the Charolais Cattle Breeders’ Association of South Africa, was re-elected as president of SA Stud Book at the association’s Annual General Meeting held in Bloemfontein on 2 November 2017. Russell Clark, councillor of SA Hereford and vice-chairman of the Tuli Cattle Breeders’ Society of South Africa, was elected the vice-president and Michiel Burger, councillor of the SA Boerperd Horse Breeders’ Society, was elected the treasurer. Duncan Serapelwane, councillor at Bonsmara SA was re-elected on Exco, while Carel Nel, the previous treasurer and representative of the Drakensberger Breeders’ Society, will also now serve as member of Exco. The other serving Exco members are Dr Johan Jooste (representing Jersey SA), Mr P.W. van Heerden (representative and president of the Meatmaster Sheep Breeders’ Society of South Africa) and Mr Christopher Melamu (Bonsmara SA).Press release.  The MPO congratulates them on their election. To read more, click HERE.

Good response to MPO statutory census

Milk producers responded well to the MPO’s request for information on milk production and the structure of their dairy herds, sent out in October. However, many milk producers still have to return the questionnaires. MPO economist Dr Koos Coetzee once again requests producers to complete and return the questionnaires to the MPO.
The MPO administers this statutory measure in terms of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act (47/1996), which requires milk producers to register with the MPO and provide records and returns to the organisation. The information is needed to enable the MPO to provide milk producers with timeous and accurate statistics on the primary dairy industry. For further information contact Dr Koos Coetzee at

NAMC requests your help in study on the competitiveness of the dairy industry

The National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) is currently following up a previous desktop study done in 2012 to determine the factors that have a significant impact on the competitiveness of the dairy value chain and how these factors might have changed.  The purpose of this investigation is to identify the factors that affect the competitiveness of the dairy value chain in an attempt to inform policymakers and other directly affected groups.
A questionnaire was compiled to solicit stakeholders’ views on the factors that are most likely to influence the level of competitiveness in the dairy value chain.  Respondents are also requested to weigh these factors in order of importance in terms of their impact on competitiveness.
The contributions of dairy farmers, milk processors and input suppliers will be greatly appreciated and will be regarded as a significant contribution to better position the dairy industry, not only in South Africa, but globally.
The questionnaire can be completed by clicking HERE. Please email the completed document to before or on 15 November 2017. Alternatively, complete the questionnaire directly at the following link:


Dairy sector continues to grow emerging market footprint

Speaking at the International Dairy Federation (IDF) World Dairy Summit held in Belfast from 30 October to 3 November, industry leaders highlighted the continued impressive growth of the dairy sector in emerging markets across the world. A clear indication was given that the future for dairy is bright in emerging markets, particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The economic dynamism of East Asia continues to present an enormous growth opportunity for the global dairy sector.
Michael Hanley, Group Chief Executive, Lakeland Dairies – which operate on both sides of the Irish border – said: “A substantial proportion of our revenues are generated from exports with over 200 of our products being exported to over 80 countries. A host of opportunities exist for dairy businesses in global emerging markets.”
“By 2050, three out of four people will either live in Africa of Asia. It is vital for dairy businesses in developed markets to invest time and resources in building a presence to ensure dairy remains an integral part of consumers’ diets in these markets.” To read more, click HERE.

Michael Hanley, Group Chief Executive, Lakeland Dairies
Transparency is a vital tool for animal welfare

Dr Jennifer Walker, Director, Dairy Stewardship, of Dean Foods Company, a leading manufacturer of dairy produce in the United States, told delegates at the World Dairy Summit that guidelines produced in many schemes do not include sufficiently specific outcomes that can be audited.
Dr Walker told the summit: “There is a need for standardised industry acceptance of what animal welfare standards should look like. Measurable outcomes that can be audited are an essential part of this process.”
Dr Walker said consumers want to feel good about issues such as animal welfare but the priority should be ‘what is good for the cow’. Customers of dairy companies such as retailers, restaurants and coffee shops are increasingly demanding information and transparency on animal welfare standards. To read more, click HERE.

  Dr Jennifer Walker, Director, Dairy Stewardship, Dean Foods
Robotic milking for US University dairy herd

The University of Connecticut is currently installing a state-of-the art voluntary robotic milking system for its dairy herd. The facility, which is among the first voluntary milking systems installed at an university, is expected to become operational in April 2018.
According to Steven Zinn, professor and head of the Department of Animal Science, the robotic technology will benefit the cows’ health and welfare, the farm staff’s ability to care for the animals in an individual way and the students’ experiential learning.
The system is called “voluntary” because the cow decides when she needs to be milked, based on a physical urge. Information is read from an ear tag and cows within their particular parameters will receive a food reward and be milked. In this process data such as the cow’s weight and milk yield are collected by the robots.
Mary-Margaret Cole, animal science’s executive programme director said: “The most important reason I am excited to begin working with the robots is that our students will have access to the latest technology for managing our cows’ health and production.” To read more, click HERE.

Schedule your dairy farm training now
Helene Pheiffer, training manager at the MPO, urges milk producers to schedule their dairy farm training as soon as possible. The Institute for Dairy Technology is continuously updating its schedule of training programmes for 2017. Their courses, some of which form part of Milk SA projects, are aimed at dairy farm workers and supervisors. Click HERE for details of the training programmes offered. Please contact Chantel Joubert at 012 843 5747 or send an e-mail to  or Jas Wasserman at 082 490 2465 or send an e-mail to for assistance and/or to book a five-day course.

Congratulations to the winner of the August competition!Congratulations to Graziano Ferrero of North West whose estimate of 278,4 million litres of milk produced in August 2017 was the closest to the actual figure of 278 million litres. Graziano won Satiskin product prizes to the value of R500.

Do you know how much milk was supplied in South Africa in September 2017? Put your knowledge to the test and stand a chance to win. A winner will be announced every month and there are several prizes to be won. After 12 draws, a national winner will be announced at the MPO’s 2018 gala dinner. Click HERE for more information and instructions on how to enter.

Benchmark your way to better herd performance

One of the benefits of a herd management system is that one can gain access to the magical world of cow information from the milk and weight data that are automatically collected daily. An appropriate analysis of the data supplied by your herd management system can identify issues that may affect your overall profitability. To read an interesting article by Georgie Muller, consultant, turn to page 64 of the November issue of The Dairy Mail. To read the digital copy of TDM, go to

Published on Fri, 10th Nov 2017 - 12:35

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