MPO Milk Bulletin 11 August 2017

Local market

Visit the MPO’s new website at  and follow the MPO – Milk Producers’ Organisation on Facebook at

 Positive outlook for livestock producers

The recently released BFAP Baseline Agricultural Outlook 2017 – 2026 shows that global producer prices will increase at a slower rate in the next decade. The outlook of South African livestock producers has improved since 2016. While international livestock producers enjoyed the benefits of lower global grain prices in 2016, the higher South African grain prices, as well as the effect of the drought limited livestock production in South Africa.  The demand for dairy is expected to continue its upward trend with high growth expected for the cheese sector. The BFAP baseline document is available on the BFAP website

DAFF publishes draft on movement of animals

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) published a draft document on the registration, approval, traceability and recording of the movements of animals in South Africa for the purpose of disease control. The aim of animal identification, recording and traceability (AIRT) is to accurately establish the numbers of the national herd and to allow for it to be monitored. The system is an indispensable tool in safeguarding the national herd by ensuring that the country is prepared for disease outbreaks, thus ensuring swift containment and limiting damages to national and international trade. To read more, click HERE.

Recommendations for carbon tax and offset system

The Department of Environmental Affairs, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries published its recommendations for a carbon tax and offset system for agriculture in South Africa and the consultation process for the formulation of policy can now commence. Workshops will soon be presented in the various provinces and organised agriculture and the provincial Red Meat Producers’ Organisation will be involved in this. Dr Heinz Meissner is currently acting on behalf of organised agriculture to provide input. To read more, click HERE.

Enter the Moo-sic competition!

Be a part of the Moo-sic movement and enter the MPO’s competition for a chance to have your “Farmer’s Favourite” track added as an eleventh bonus track to the first ever Moo-sic to milk by CD featuring 10 contemporary hits and classical music favourites. For more information and to enter the competition, click HERE.

Research team on the move

The footprint of the Head Office of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture at Elsenburg will soon be expanded following an announcement that a new building for programme research and technology development services will be built. The major reason for this exciting step is to move all the laboratories and other research infrastructure of the programme out of the existing building and to allow the other departmental programmes and their current units and office space remaining in the current building to be streamlined and redesigned for better functionality and service delivery. The new building will be built in accordance with green building standards, focusing on energy and resource efficiency and environmentally sound principles. It will also include a state-of-the-art auditorium for 120 persons, and a new home for Radio Elsenburg. Construction will commence in February 2018 and the final handover will be in August 2019.

Milk offers hope for change

Tetra Pak’s annual Milk for Change campaign to raise awareness of the nutritional benefits of long-life milk and to donate portions of long-life milk to children in underprivileged communities, in partnership with the non-profit Feed South Africa, has already exceeded expectations. As it heads into its final 10 days the campaign has reached an audience of 5,66 million South Africans and delivered 140 000 servings.

Liesl Gruber, marketing director at Tetra Pak South Africa, stated: “We raised 35 000 litres of long-life milk. This campaign has already shown me that South Africans are a can-do nation. While the world and our own country are beset by technology-driven business disruption and economic uncertainty, ordinary people are getting on with looking after one another where it matters. We’re proud to be playing a role in making a better future a reality for all South Africans, starting with the children.” Press Release

Climate-smart e-newsletter launched

It was with great excitement that the first SmartAgri e-newsletter – SmartAgri Barometer – was published recently. This quarterly e-newsletter will report on actions emanating from the SmartAgri plan which was launched in May 2016. This plan is the Western Cape agricultural sector’s response to climate change, and the current drought and recent fires are all indicative of the vulnerability of our province and sector to climate change.
Click HERE to read the August 2017 edition of the newsletter.


International market

Butter prices at record high in Europe

Global food prices are at a 31st month high after increasing for a third month in a row. This increase is partly ascribed to high butter and cheese prices globally. Butter prices reached new record levels in July as a result of lower export availability, which resulted in the gap between butter prices and other dairy product prices widening even further. Global butter prices increased between US$900 to US$1 200, reaching a record high of $6 100 in  June Europe. The global demand for cheese has also strengthened on the back of increased demand in South Korea, China and South East Asia. Russian imports also grew by 50% despite the ban on Western agricultural products.  To read more, click HERE.

Arla organic milk part of McDonald’s Happy Meals

Arla Foods UK is launching a new co-branded Happy Meal and 250 ml Arla organic milk bottle in McDonald’s restaurants in the United Kingdom.  The milk bottles will be available in Happy Meals in more than 1 270 UK McDonald’s outlets, reaching more than 5,5 million people annually. According to Jonathan Dixon, vice-president of Food Service Arla UK, the company has developed a number of initiatives in recent months in an attempt to make  organic milk more accessible to consumers.  To read more, click HERE.

Russian cheese producers benefit from sanctions

While Russia’s ban on imported foodstuffs from the West three years ago has impacted negatively on European farmers, it has benefited Russian cheese producers. Russian versions of Cheddar, feta, Brie, Camembert and mature blue cheeses are now produced by local cheesemakers. A cheese fair with the theme “Three years of sanctions!” was held some 65 km outside Moscow recently. Oleg Sirota, an IT specialist turned cheesemaker, and a one of the organisers of the fair, told Reuters Television “We are very proud that we not only make cheese, but we make it using Russian equipment and machinery.”
The Russian food embargo has led to food prices increasing by 150% during the past three years. To read more, click HERE.

US maize crop estimate not expected to drop

The full effect of the hot, dry summer experienced in the US Midwest is not expected to be reflected in the government’s next maize crop estimate. The yield projection update will be included in the USDA’s August supply and demand report. During the past 20 years, the USDA has cut its maize yield estimate nine times by an average 3,3% in the August report. This excludes the 2012 yield expectations which were reduced by 15,5% as a result of a severe drought experienced in the US Midwest. Should this year’s current harvest forecast be reduced by 3,3% it would still be the fourth best yield in history, which would have little impact on the global balance sheet. 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.

MPO helps with occupational health and safety issues

The MPO’s Institute for Dairy Technology offers a five-day training course on the occupational health and safety code of best practice for dairy farmers. The course is practical and equips participants with the knowledge they need to comply with the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Training is conducted on-farm in the language of preference. Dairy farmers who need assistance in complying with the Department of Labour’s health and safety requirements on their farms are encouraged to contact the Institute to schedule a training programme. The Institute is currently scheduling its training programmes for 2017. Click HERE for details of all 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.


Technology Transfer

Congratulations to the winner of our competition!

Congratulations to Johan Strydom of the farm Wolvenfontein in Lichtenburg who won the competition for May with his projection of a total milk production of 228,6 million litres which is right on target. Johan who is also the chairman of MPO North and MPO North West, and an MPO board member to boot, wins a gift voucher from Dairy Day to the value of R1 000.

Do you know how much milk was supplied in South Africa in June 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.

Cheers to milk!

The MPO and various other role players in the South African dairy industry, together with people in 81 countries across the globe, raised a glass to the natural nutritional value and versatility of milk during World Milk Day celebrations. To read about World Milk Day celebrations in 2017, turn to page 38 of the August issue of The Dairy Mail. To read the digital copy of TDM, go to



How does water law affect you?

Against the backdrop of a rapidly growing urban population, with water demands that are not being matched by water investment and infrastructure, coupled with a changing climate, the worst drought in over 100 years and competition from other sectors for water, water allocations to the agricultural sector are unlikely to increase unless the sector is able to use water more efficiently.

What does this mean for your agribusiness, as you consider your lawful water use entitlement relative to your water use footprint? How will water use be recorded, regulated and charged for in future? Could water be expropriated from you without compensation?

Most importantly, how can your agribusiness plan for the future by proactively dealing with these issues now so as to be better prepared for a potential new reality of farming with less water? In addition, how are you dealing with your waste water and should you be considering how this can be harnessed for reuse? These topics and more will be discussed by expert speakers Stephen Levetan and James Brand at an agribusiness water law seminar on 15 August at the offices of ENSafrica in Stellenbosch. To read more and RSVP, click HERE.

Popular herd managers training now offered at Cedara College

The MPO’s Institute for Dairy Technology will be presenting various herd managers’ courses funded by Milk SA at Cedara College, KwaZulu-Natal. The first course will deal with production management and will run from 14 to 18 August 2017.  Topics to be covered are “Dairy farm design concepts”, “Dairy animal breeding management”, “Dairy animal nutrition management”, “Dairy animal health management” and “Milk recording”. For further details please contact Chantel Joubert on 012 843 5747 or send an email to or to Helene Pheiffer at

Register now for pasture courses

Three pasture courses will be presented by the directorates of plant and animal sciences at the Outeniqua Research Farm (Western Cape Department Agriculture) as follows:

  • Praktiese weidingskursus vir beginners (Afrikaans), 6 September 2017 :

This pasture course will be aimed at training and providing information primarily to emerging farmers, pasture managers and any other individuals in need of a basic introduction to pasture management. The course will be presented in Afrikaans on existing pastures, in the field.  To read more, click HERE.

  • Practical pasture course for beginners (English), 14 September 2017:

This course is identical to the “Praktiese weidingskursus vir beginners”, but will be presented in English. To read more, click HERE.

  • Intermediate pasture course, 27 to 28 September 2017: This course is aimed at commercial producers with a background in pasture management and will consist primarily of presentations in a lecture room. To read more, click HERE.

A limited number of individuals will be admitted to the course (20 for beginners’ pasture courses and 30 for the intermediate pasture course). Please register in time by completing the registration form and emailing it back as soon as possible. For enquiries please contact Janke van der Colf on 044 803 3716/082 774 9164 or at

Do not miss AGMs and congresses of MPO North and Free State

Johan Strydom, chairperson of MPO North, and Gideon Lamprecht, chairperson of MPO Free State, invite all MPO members in their respective provinces to diarise 24 August so that they can attend the annual AGMs and the joint congress, one of the highlights of the 2017 dairy calendar. The venue will be the Stonehenge conference centre near Parys. The congress will be held after the conclusion of the two AGMs, when Dr Chris van Dijk (MPO), Kenneth Botha (Barnlab), Fanus Linde (GWK) and Mike Mouton (DeLaval) will give dairy farmers alternative ideas on how to save costs. The MPO invites everybody to join them for lunch afterwards.
All MPO members and their spouses are also invited to a special evening function; and if they wish, they can overnight at the conference centre. However, terms and conditions apply for the evening function and overnight offer – for more information, enquiries and RSVPs please contact Benita at or 073 116 8544.

Cheesemaking course back in September

The MPO will once again be running a two-day cheesemaking course during the Alfa Livestock Fair, which will be presented by Retha Carelsen of DC Ingredients at the AfriDome in Parys.  For further details please contact Julie McLachlan on 012 843 5638 or or consult our website: where you will be able to see the programme and download the booking form.
Anneke Kubannek of Agri Travel and Tours will once again be handling all travel and accommodation: or 012 843 5724.

The Big Farm Taste – from goat to beer!

Cheese, wine, craft beer, Boer goat meat, skaapstertjies, tripe and ice cream . . . all these delicacies and more await you at the Big Farm Taste on the Sandringham farm outside Stellenbosch on Saturday, 14 October 2017.
Agri-Expo, organiser of the popular South African Cheese Festival, promises a brand-new tasting experience of all things farm, both for farmies as well as townies. Visitors can look forward to unique combinations such as Bok&Bier (Boer goat meat and craft beer next to the braai). An array of craft and artisan products such as wine, Karoo lamb sosaties, roosterkoek, steak, yoghurt and ice cream will be available for tasting and sale at food and wine stalls.

Visit for more information; follow Livestock on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, or contact Agri-Expo on 021 975 4440 or Release.

Disclaimer: The MPO Milk Bulletin is compiled from sources deemed reliable. However, the publisher accepts no responsibility for any errors or the effect of any decisions based on this publication.

Milk Producers’ Organisation
The Dairy Mail

Contact us

Dr Chris van Dijk

Barbara Bieldt
Manager: Market protection and development

Dr Koos Coetzee – Economist

Philip Swart – MPO manager of member services

Published on Sun, 13th Aug 2017 - 18:09

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