MPO Milk Bulletin – 8 December 2017




End of year message 

We have reached the end of a year during which drought conditions played a major role. We look back gratefully to a golden year for the MPO – a year in which a lot of water (or rather milk) has flowed under the bridge and during which many of our strategic actions were carried out.
Our strategic aim “Sustainable dairy farming for all” truly came to life in 2017.  In 2018 we plan to build on this.
The MPO ensured a focused difference in 2017 through its three pillars, namely profitable farming, a real focus on the people of dairy, which includes milk producers and their employees, and the conservation of the environment where dairy farming takes place.  From our producers on their farms to the milk buyers and further down the value chain the MPO helped to ensure that consumers had nutritional, high-quality products on their tables every day.
2017 is almost something of the past and I would like to use the opportunity to wish each and everyone in this wonderful industry of ours a blessed and joyful festive season on behalf of the MPO and myself.
2018 with all its challenges is around the corner. Every milk producer can be assured that the MPO is ready to be with you every step of the way!

Dr Chris van Dijk
Executive Head

Agriculture continues to support growth

Agriculture saved the day once again by being the largest contributor to the growth in South Africa’s economy in the third quarter of 2017. In addition, the sector achieved the largest rise in agricultural production in more than 20 years. The economy grew by 2,0% in the third quarter, slowing from the revised second quarter growth of 2,8%. Growth was supported by a robust performance from agriculture, contributing 0,9 of a percentage point to GDP growth. Press release. To read the media release by Agri SA, click HERE.

Valuable engagement at Water & Waste Info Day

The MPO and WWF hosted a Water & Waste Info Day in Mooi River on 30 November. Sue Viljoen, WWF Mondi Water Stewardship Partnership project manager, said in her introduction that the WWF’s freshwater programme was being fuelled by the drought. “We must not become apathetic because we have had some rain. The drought must be our wake-up call. The Western Cape is reaching a watershed moment where day zero – when taps run dry — is a real possibility.
Barbara Bieldt, MPO Manager: Market Protection and Development, said water stewardship was increasingly important in our water-scarce country. This was during her overview of the recently launched MPO Water Use Guidelines for dairy farmers.
Officials from the Department of Water and Sanitation provided step-by-step guidance on the water use licence application process and the 2017 irrigation regulations. Siboniso Mkhaliphi, Department of Water and Sanitation (DSW) Director: Compliance Monitoring said: “Everyone who irrigates, and all farmers at some stage, will have to install a water meter or water-measuring device (WMD).”
Ian Keogh from Flowmetrix gave practical advice on selecting and installing water meters while Marc Mulder from Agreplan shared information on how water meters can be used as an irrigation performance management tool.
The Info Day highlighted the importance of engagement ‒ farmers and other role players must make use of opportunities to interact, share information and experience. Collaboration with industry organisations, regulators and other organisations is key to becoming better stewards.

Advice on listeriosis

The Dairy Standard Agency (DSA) compiled advice for all role players in the dairy industry about the recent outbreak of listeriosis.
The recent media reports on the increase in reported cases of listeriosis in South Africa put the focus on all food sectors of which the food products may directly and indirectly be associated with the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.  In the case of dairy, high-risk products are raw or unpasteurised milk and dairy products that contain unpasteurised milk, such as soft cheeses, as well as pasteurised dairy products from contaminated production and cold-storage environments.
There is no vaccine or pre-exposure prophylaxis that can prevent infection. The main preventive measure is good basic hygiene, and thorough and safe food-manufacturing procedures and storage. Unlike most other food-borne pathogens, Listeria monocytogenescan grow in refrigerated foods that are contaminated.  To prevent this, refrigerator temperatures should be set at below 4⁰C; and where applicable, freezer temperatures at below -18⁰C.  To read the information document from DSA, click HERE. For a scientific article on Listeria monocytogenes in food, click HERE.

Brief summary of key market signals for dairy industry

The South African Milk Processors’ Organisation released its brief summary of the November 2017 edition of Key Market Signals for the Dairy Industry this week. To view the report, click HERE.


USDA expands school milk options

Dairy organisations in the US welcomed the decision by the USDA to allow school districts to offer low-fat (1%) flavoured milk as part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programmes. The regulatory changes needed to reinstate low-fat flavoured milk in schools was announced on 29 November and goes into effect for the 2018‒2019 school year.
“We appreciate the Secretary’s understanding that the regulatory process needed to move quickly so schools may include low-fat flavoured milk in their menu planning and procurement processes,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). “Today’s action will help reverse declining milk consumption by allowing schools to provide kids with access to a variety of milk options, including the flavoured milks they enjoy.” To read more, click HERE.

Cheese consumption may lower risk of cardiovascular and heart diseases

A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition indicates that there is an inverse relationship between cheese consumption and the total risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke. The researchers state: “We found that high, compared with low, cheese consumption was significantly associated with 10% to 14% lower risks of cardiovascular disease and its subgroups. Furthermore, there was a somewhat U-shaped association between cheese consumption and overall cardiovascular disease risk, with the largest risk reduction observed at cheese consumption of approximately 40 gram/day. 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 our competition!

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

Farming with heart

Karkloof no-till pioneer René Stubbs farms with one eye on profits and people and the other on the planet. This mindful approach has given the family’s farming enterprises the upper hand in a testing climate. Denleigh Farm recently won the 2017 The Dairy Mail Stewardship Award for their commitment to the triple bottom line: profit, people and planet. To read more, turn to page 42 of the December 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


Barbara Bieldt
Manager: Market protection and development

Dr. Koos Coetzee

Philip Swart
MPO manager of member services



Published on Mon, 11th Dec 2017 - 08:49

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