How often do you think about the cows that gives us the milk and other dairy products? Not that often, right? Because if we give it too much thought, we tend to think of those mass-farming movies we’ve seen. Where cows walk around in their own filth, and are milked basically 24/7. BUT NOT THIS FARM.
Fair Cape Dairies is a forward-thinking business with an ethical commitment to business principles and new technology. A once small-scale dairy farming operation run by the Loubser family for more than 70 years, Fair Cape has grown to become one of South Africa’s leading commercial dairy brands and today it is managed as a professional business by the five Loubser brothers. It is the only commercial dairy brand in the country where all its milk comes from a single herd of cows, on a single farm. (Which basically means that whatever changes they make to the sustainability of their farm’s operations, pass directly to you, the consumer. )
I was invited to experience the newly installed solar technology used on the Fair Cape farm. On World Climate Action Day last year, this farm switched to solar energy. It ensures that all their cows are milked off-grid during daylight hours, lessening their reliance on traditional power producers, and reducing their carbon footprint.
One of Fair Cape Dairies’ pillars is environmental care, and that is one of the key reasons the company decided to milk its cows off grid. These Friesland cows were selected as the breed of choice, and produces milk of outstanding quality under optimal conditions. Of these, 2,550 are milked daily, each of which delivers 40 litres per day. The cows are milked only 3x a day, for 10minutes at a time. It is a still undisturbed serene operation, and these cows are well taken care of every minute of the day. They even get cow-massaged as they need/want it!
Animal welfare is a top priority and one of the foundations on which they base their business ethics. The humane treatment of our cows means more to us than business practice. The cow sheds are cleaned daily, and their technologically advanced sheds are designed to give each cow sufficient space and provide an under-cover and an open-air section. Theirs cows are monitored three times daily to check for any illness (their vet is in daily attendance).
I was very impressed with the amount of clean energy their solar systems generates each year (160 000KWh, to be exact!). It can deliver a maximum of 80 Kw AC. It has reduced the farms’ total energy consumption by 16% per annum over its 25 year life span. Fair Cape Dairies is constantly striving to implement actions that contribute towards carbon reduction.
We all need to be a little more conscience of the environment we are feeling for the next generation, and what this brand is doing, is far beyond what others are even attempting to do. (They are also the first dairy company in Africa to publish the carbon footprint on their milk bottles!) You can read more about the Environmental Welfare Fair Cape Dairies have and are implementing here.
If you want to do your bit, make Fair Cape Dairies your go-to, your only choice of dairy products and together we can surely make this world a better place. One cow at a time!