Sustainability of local dairy farmers key to bridging the nutritional gap in SA children.
With a vast percentage of school-age children (5 – 14 years old) in South Africa suffering from both macro and micro nutrient deficiencies, the availability of products such as NESTLÉ NESPRAY FORTIGROW — milk with a unique blend of essential vitamins, minerals and macro nutrients — is vital to ensuring healthy growing minds.
Promoting optimal child nutrition and development is a national imperative. According to Statistics SA, one in four children under the age of three in Gauteng‚ Free State, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape suffer from malnutrition and, among many other disadvantages, will not be physically or mentally equipped to benefit from school.
“To nourish growing minds, we focus on providing our future leaders with brain support, immune support and growth builders,” said Adedoja Ekeruche, Business Executive Officer – Dairy at NESTLÉ. “To do this, we work with the farmers and nutritional scientists to not only standardise the milk that goes into the NESPRAY full milk powder, but the milk powder itself, so every sip of every glass has the same nutritional value. A large part of that lies in supporting our farmers deliver to world-class standards and practices.”
One of the farmers that supplies large amounts of milk to the NESTLÉ factory in Mossel Bay is George Kuyler of Skimmelkrans Farm. Kuyler and his family have had a relationship with NESTLÉ that has lasted more than 60 years. In that time, the partnership has resulted in NESTLÉ becoming an integral part in the development of Skimmelkrans into a world-class dairy farm, complete with a state-of-the-art rotary milking parlour.
“Sustainable development of dairy farming has not always been easy. Fluctuating prices and competition from overseas producers make dairy farming a difficult marketplace in which to successfully operate. To help mitigate these challenges, we have found working with NESTLÉ offers us a reliable market for our milk, while helping us grow our business in a sustainable way.” says George Kuyler.
Each of the Skimmelkrans cows are tagged, and all their data is captured on a specially designed computerised system. The system tracks what the cows eat and how much milk they provide. Built-in scales weigh each cow, reading their chip for the computerised system, allowing Kuyler and his team to assess whether they have lost weight and need more food added to their diet.
“The majority of the cows’ diet is pasture based, as grass-based diets are known to provide better milk yields with higher milk fat levels. Growing children need protein to help them build and repair cells and body tissue.
Much care is taken to ensure that the cows being milked are free of any anti-biotics or hormones, further ensuring the superior quality of the milk. Apart from this, each of the 37 farm workers take care to maintain their daily routine to avoid unnecessary stress to the cows with any kind of changes or shifts in their daily lives, as a happy cow delivers better milk.” added Kuyler.
One of the major challenges of being a pasture-based dairy farmer in the Western Cape is keeping the grass optimally irrigated, especially in the more recent water-stressed years. To assist Kuyler in mitigating these challenges, NESTLÉ brought in irrigation consultants to help him work out a sustainable water management plan. Through the implementation of soil moisture readers, Kuyler is able to gauge exactly how much moisture is in the ground and how much irrigation water is needed to maintain optimal water levels for the growth of the grass. This added to the greywater system, where water used around the farm is repurposed where possible, has helped make Skimmelkrans one of the country’s most environmentally advanced dairy farms and not surprisingly received the 2018 National Stewardship Award from the Dairy Mail.
“Having recently been awarded Farm workers Farm of the Year, an award voted on by the workers themselves speaks to the authenticity of the relationship I have with the farm workers. Over the years we have become family- focused on the goal of providing the best quality milk that supports the nutritional development of our future leaders. I would like to thank NESTLÉ for enabling me to ensure that our farming practices are sustainable for both the environment and the community in which we operate.” added Kuyler
The NESTLÉ NESPRAY factory, situated in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, receives around 400 tonnes of fresh milk from the surrounding farms every day, including Skimmelkrans, which provides around 22 000 litres. Many of the farms are situated in remote locations and only produce a limited amount of milk. However, NESTLÉ sees the value in even the smallest farms in order to uplift outlying communities. One such farm is a farm owned by the Griqua National Trust, Jakkalskraal, which serves the Griqua community of Kranshoek near Plettenberg Bay.
“In supporting these farms, NESTLÉ not only helps ensure the quality of the products, but we help develop the small farmers into healthy, thriving enterprises that can boost local employment and generate economic growth for our communities.” concluded Ekeruche
WIN WIN WIN
We have partnered with the people at Nestle as we support their great work. We have one amazing hamper
valued at R1500 to give-away to ONE lucky reader. Get your little one involved, get them to draw of picture
of themselves drinking Nestle Nespray Fortigrow. Email it to us on HypressLive@gmail.com. Competition ends on the 3rd January 2019. T&C apply.
· 1x 400g Nestlé Nespray Fortigrow Sachet
· 1x 1.8kg Nestlé Nespray Fortigrow Tin
· R1000 Makro Voucher
For more details about NESTLÉ NESPRAY`s work with the famers please visit www.nestle.co.za. On Facebook at NESPRAY South Africa.