Do you remember when you were a child, and your parents told you the story of Jack and the Bean Stalk? No? Well here is a quick recap, Jack sold a cow for magic beans which resulted in him climbing up a giant stalk and encountering new, exciting characters such as a giant and a hen that laid golden eggs.
Although Jacks adventure ended well, perhaps the main flaw was that, instead of selling the cow, he should have looked after it, as the animals hold many benefits and should have been treated as an investment for the future.
The people of the Eastern Cape understand the importance of developing the dairy industry, which is the reason behind the Eastern Cape farmers receiving R3 million in funding to purchase 300 cows.
Due to the generosity of Famous Brands Cheese Company (FBCC) and Coega Dairy, five previously disadvantaged dairy farmers will receive R1.5 million each from the enterprises so that they may grow their business with the purchase of vast amounts of cattle.
Ambadlelo Agri, a black empowerment agricultural business, which also runs the farms, took action last year, by meeting with FBCC and Coega Dairy to ask them for their assistance in gaining ownership of dairy herds.
According to Famous Brands Enterprise development chief operation, Andrew Mundell, there are many cattle located on the grounds of the community farms that are rented from commercial dairy farms.
Mundell stated, "By investing in this project we will assist the community farmers to gain increased access, participation and ownership in the value chain."
Farms such as Fort Hare Dairy Trust, Shiloh Dairy Trust, Middledrift Dairy Trust and Ncora Dairy Trust will benefit significantly from the massive investment.
A total milk intake of 25% has been delivered from these farms. Mundell said "Ensuring security of supply of raw milk is critical to the FBCC and Coega Dairy and this investment will achieve that."
It has been estimated that the cattle and their future calves will produce more than 10 million litres of milk over a five-year period.
Coega Dairy was established in 2011 through partners of commercial farmers with a background of previously disadvantaged farmers.
The company acquires milk from manufacturers located in the Eastern Cape. From there it processes butter and UHT milk at its factory in the Coega Industrial Development Zone. Finally, the items are then sold throughout the country by wholesalers and retailers.
THE FAMOUS BRANDS CHEESE COMPANY
Founded in 2012, the establishment got into a ground-breaking joint-venture partnership with the Coega Dairy, providing cheese to the FBCC groups.
The company has a top of the range cheese manufacturing plant adjacent to the Coega Dairy facility.
Famous brands cheese produces food products such as mozzarella, cheese spread, cream cheese and cheese slices for the franchise, with the help of Coega Dairy and its milk supply.
The factory manufactures around nine million kgs of dairy products per annum.
Mundell said, "We established the FBCC to further our strategy to build the group’s manufacturing capability and leverage opportunities in the supply chain."
Coega Dairy's raw milk intake has increased by 14% over the past five years, whereas FBCC cheese intake has risen by 20% over four years.
When asked, Coega Dairy Chief Executive, Victor Korsten said both companies were committed to developing production from community farmers.
Korsten said, "This locally focused empowerment investment will make an essential difference in a particularly needy province."
Chief Executive of Amadlelo Agri believes that the investment will bring about significant change and empowerment for the farmers.
"Amadlelo was formed in 2004 by community farmers in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal for transformation in the dairy sector, and we’ve been pushing that agenda since then."
The majority of the land belongs to the government, as well as the community members. However, all the cows on these farms belong to Amadlelo.
2018 Is set to be the year of flourishing, and everyone believes that this is the beginning of granting the dairy farmers ownership of their cows.