Restructuring the South African Dairy Industry

Jun 19, 2004


It is said that milk is the most wholesome basic food with natural nutritious value. From the time we are born we are fed with milk from our mother’s breast. When we are little children, we are told to drink milk and that it will help our teeth to grow strong. As we grow up, milk becomes a source of enjoyment in the forms of milkshakes, cream on our dessert or ice cream. Milk is the basic ingredient to all dairy products like butter, yoghurt, cheese, etc. We usually buy dairy products in the supermarket or local corner shop and have no other contact with the processes and people that produce these products. We often do not know the changes that have happened in the industry and how they impact or affect the lives of people producing these products or the consumers.

This booklet will look at some of the details of the product chain of dairy products in South Africa, from the farm to the shelf. The booklet will address some of the changes (from the late 1990s) in the dairy industry from a legislation point of view, dairy and international trade, dairy processing companies (specifically Parmalat) and end off with challenges facing the dairy sector trade unions.