MPO Milk Bulletin 19 January 2018




2018 – The journey has begun!

With its first Milk Bulletin of 2018, the MPO wishes all milk producers and their families a blessed new year filled with opportunities. The MPO is excited to build on our strategic aim of “sustainable dairy farming for everyone” with our dairy farmers in 2018!



Milk production 2,6% up on 2017


Total milk production in 2017 is currently estimated at 3 141 million litres, 2,6% up on 2016’s lower production. This increase is the result of faster production growth in the spring and summer. Milk production growth is boosted by the more favourable milk-to-feed price ratio and good production conditions.  The high temperatures and drought conditions experienced at present may negatively affect production in the coming months.



Imports down, exports up

Imports of 14 300 tonnes in October and November 2017 were 14% less than imports in the same period in 2016. In November 2017 6 932 tonnes of dairy products were imported, compared to 8 000 tonnes in November 2016 and 18 350 tonnes of dairy products exported, 1 000 tonnes more than in November 2016. Higher world prices and growing local production probably resulted in a slowdown in imports.



Dairy products excluded from sugar tax

The National Treasury announced in 2016 that tax will be introduced on the sugar content of food products to discourage the consumption of sugar. This will be done to support the initiatives of the Department of Health aimed at decreasing “diabetes, obesity and other related diseases in South Africa. Milk SA’s Regulation and Standards project requested that intrinsic sugar and dairy products be excluded from the tax, in view of science-based reasons and national arguments about the nutritional value of dairy products.
A Bill introducing a “Sugar Beverage Levy” (SBL) was passed in Parliament in December 2017 and will be implemented on 1 March 2018. Dairy products which contain or may contain added sugar such as yoghurt, drinking yoghurt, sweetened condensed milk and flavoured, coloured and sweetened milk are excluded from the list of products subject to SBL. To read more, click HERE.






Higher product prices due to New Zealand drought

The drought in New Zealand resulted in the sharpest increase in dairy prices in 14 months s at the bi-weekly GlobalDairyTrade auctions in New Zealand. At the latest auction held on 16 January prices increased by an average 4,9% compared to the previous auction held at the beginning of January. Prices for all traded products increased with the sharpest increase in butter prices.
The main reason for the increase in prices was a warning by New Zealand dairy company Fonterra, which supplies the bulk of the products sold on the GlobalDairyTrade platform that they will supply fewer products to the market in 2018. In December Fonterra cautioned that the drought, especially in the Northern Island, will result in a 3% lower total milk supply. The December milk intake surprised on the downside with a 6% decrease in milk intake.  Unless it rains soon, production will not recover in major producing areas. 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 updating its schedule of training programmes for 2018. 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. Turn to page 72 of the January issue of The Dairy Mail for more details on the courses offered by the Institute.




Congratulations to the winner of our October competition!

Congratulations to Frik Scott from the farm Uitval between Klerksdorp and Ventersdorp who is the winner of our October 2017 competition. Frik’s estimate of milk production of 319 million litres in October was correct and he wins a gift voucher from Satiskin to the value of R1 000.
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.



Start with stewardship goals in mind

We often start the year off with good resolutions about making improvements – in both our personal and our working lives. Then the pressures and challenges of the year hit us and we go straight back to doing whatever is easiest, which is probably the thing we did last year and were hoping to change. Farmers often have every intention of implementing practices that will result in more environmentally friendly milk production, but when the pressures mount up those ideas go out the window.  In order to move forward, it is important to think about, and commit to, what you are hoping to achieve on your farm this year with regard to environmental stewardship. To read more, turn to page 32 of the January issue of The Dairy Mail. To read the digital copy of TDM, go to





Enter the SA Dairy Championships 2018

Dairy producers are invited to enter the 2018 South African Dairy Championships which  has been hosted since 1834 by Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society, which is known today as Agri-Expo. According to Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, the ultimate aim of the championships, celebrating its 185th year of existence this year, is to promote excellence in the dairy industry.
The championships consist of nine categories and 102 classes for end products in the dairy industry. Any dairy producer with products available in the trade may enter. The winners in each of the classes are crowned as SA Champions at the Qualité Awards Dinner, while products of exceptional quality receive the the Qualité mark. After the first round of judging by more than 70 judges, a panel of five specialists allocate the Product of the Year. Parmalat’s 10 months Matured Gouda won the 2017 title. Kobus Mulder, chief judge, says: “The championships is unique, as the judges participate individually in a blind evaluation of products in order to ensure the process is truly independent.”
Entries for the 2018 championships opens on 4 January 2018 on the website The closing date for entries is 1 February 2018.  Judging takes place on 22 February 2018 and the Qualité Awards Dinner will be held at Grand West in Cape Town on 23 March 2018. To read more, click HERE.



Enter the 2018 TDM Innovation Awards!

If your company has launched or will launch an innovative, cutting-edge product in the South African dairy market between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018, then you should enter the 2018 TDM innovation awards.
By entering you:

  • raise your personal or company profile – shortlisted and winning entries are promoted to our readers all over the country, offering fantastic coverage;
  • prove your knowledge – increasing your reputation within the industry; and
  • align yourself with excellence – the TDM Innovation Awards are all about celebrating excellence.

The winner will be announced at the annual MPO gala dinner and receive a 5-page spread in the December issue of The Dairy Mail (valued at over R60 000). To read more, click HERE.



Celebrating Stewardship

After the successful launch of the TDM Stewardship Awards in 2017, The Dairy Mail is again inviting nominations for 2018. In keeping with the strategic goal of the MPO, sustainable dairy farming for all, we believe that good stewardship should be recognised and rewarded. If you know a dairy farmer who is the epitome of a good dairy steward, nominate him or her in the second annual TDM Stewardship Awards competition.
Nominated farmers should excel in at least one of these areas:

  • Are they good stewards of the land?
  • Do they produce milk that is healthy, wholesome and safe to drink?
  • Are animals and humans on the farm treated with care and consideration?
  • Are they running a profitable dairy business?

To enter, complete the entry form and submit your nomination to the editor at by 31 May 2018. There will be a judging process, including a farm visit, and farms will all be judged on the same vital capital index. Nominated farmers will also receive feedback based on this report in order to further improve their sustainability efforts.

The winner will be announced at the annual MPO gala dinner and receive a 5-page spread in the December issue of The Dairy Mail (valued at over R60 000). To read more, click HERE.



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.



Contact us
Dr. Chris van DijkCEO: MPO


Barbara Bieldt
Manager: Market protection and development

Dr. Koos Coetzee

Philip Swart
MPO manager of member services




Published on Thu, 25th Jan 2018 - 16:19

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