I was fortunate enough to have been invited to the Fair Cape dairy farm; this was the first time I had been to a Dairy farm and I was super excited – moost exciting!
We arrived as the cows were being milked and noticed it was very quiet. We all wanted to go and photograph them on the milking ramp but no-one was allowed to go near them as it would disturb them. They keep the farm as quiet as possible with no excess noise as they want their cows to be happy and comfortable. The staff are not allowed to make any noise as well, think of a library with real cows and not cow books.
As we watched them through the window we were given information about the cows and farm. The cows know what is required from them when it was milking time. They ambled onto the revolving ramp in an orderly fashion. We watched as the Fair Cape Staff sterilize the cow teats, then another staff member connects the pumping machine to them and the pumping of milk begins. The staffs wear gloves for hygienic reasons while they work with the cows. Each cow also flaunts an ankle bracelet which is used to monitor their health, how many steps they take and if they are healthy. If for any reason they are ill or not walking enough the Vet immediately gets called in to check up on them. The cows weigh between 700 – 800 kgs and get milked 3x a day for 10 min on the milking ramp. As soon as the revolving ramp moves to the end, the 10 mins milking time is up for the cows and then they are free to go and relax in their barns with special pampering “me time” services. Each cow gets an earring tag as well, on this is information with dad’s name and what number cow they are.
What fascinated me was that the cows are treated fairly and are not allowed to be disturbed in any way. Each barn is fitted with a few showers and massage machines that the cows can choose to use if they want. We watched as a cow stepped up to one of the machines and switched it on with her head – a slight knock – then it started to vibrate as she had her back and head rubbed by the machines. The cow moved to where she wanted to be scratched and massaged. She loved it!! How cool is that? The showers work in the same way. As cows don’t like hot weather, the barns are temperature controlled with fans. Fair Cape Farm takes pride in treating them all fair and looking after them, they really do treasure these cows!! Food is available all day for them to enjoy.
We did a tour of the Dairy Farm in a wagon which was pulled by a tractor; it was great fun. We learnt how this Dairy Farm has become Eco-Friendly and the various steps they have implemented to reduce their carbon footprint and recycle as much as possible, making them a more sustainable company.
They are also one of the first Dairy farms to run their farm on Solar Energy. On World Day for Climate Action on 24 Oct 2018, they switched over and installed solar panels in their milking parlour which enables them to milk their cows “off the grid” during the day. This is because their Eco-Fresh milk is single origin. And what a fantastic move as they take advantage of the wonderful sunshine the City of Cape Town receives.
Fair Cape also recycles our City’s “precious” water that gets used on the farm. They gather the cow dung mess and scoop it into a machine which separates the manure solids from the water. This water then gets pumped into a dam and re-cycled again. The cow dung gets used as organic manure for the farm produce with only 20% fertilizers being added. No waste here!
Another addition of how Fair Cape farm found ways to cut down their carbon footprints was the introduction of their new plastic milk bottles, now packaged in a square shape. This new shape with the clear bottle colour can be recycled and used as Eco Bricks. You will find these on the shelves with yellow caps on, so start your bit on helping our planet with recycling by making Eco-Bricks. Fair Cape Dairy Farm has made it easy for the individual on the street to be part of this initiative. Previously they were using the PET plastic milk bottles which were not suitable for recycling.
But the best news for food lovers is that they now make coffee mousse which was delicious!! Being a coffee lover it definitely hit the spot and got me begging for more!!
Mr Johannes Loubser from Fair Cape Dairies walked off with the SA Master Dairyman of the Year award, winning it now for 2 conservative years. Plus the Qualite Award is a symbol of outstanding quality for dairy products and awarded to South African Dairy Champions, this year Fair Cape Dairies received a total of 11 First Place awards, 11 second place and 6 third place, with 2 Qualite Awards. So all is fair and square at Fair Cape. Please support their products as they try and treat their cows with as much respect and love as they can. Cape Fair Dairy farm thrives on happy cows, and happy cow means happy chow!
Fair Cape products can be found at various supermarkets. Products to look out for and to try are the new yellow cap Milk bottles, milkshakes, fruit juices, coffee and chocolate mousse. Their latest yoghurt on the market is apple and cinnamon which is perfect as a breakfast lift.
I learnt such a lot as well, and see cows in a new way. And then I could not believe I found a heart again as I always do on all my trips 🙂 This cow has my name on it and we can be sure that all her milk is made with lots of love 🙂
On my way out, I saw Fair Cape Dairies Staff enjoying the sunshine in their lunch time with a game on the go -it shows the staff are happy, content and they were very friendly.
This article was not paid for by Fair Cape Dairies