Milk has many benefits for our bodies, one of them being a source of protein (Read Blog: Milk, a sustainable protein source?). Often, possibly due to ever increasing prices of agricultural products such as milk, we get too fixated on its price rather than its value.

We know better than to think that “milk comes from the shop”. A lot of inputs go into producing a litre of milk, which has become increasingly challenging for our local farmers due to climatic conditions and the fluctuating cost of inputs  (Read blog: Support your local farmers).

Photo by Couler on Pixabay

Milk production can put a considerable amount of stress on natural resources. On the pasture-based dairy farms that we work on, a lot of effort is put into mitigating potential harmful effects. The service we provide to farmers helps them to build resilience against possible negative events. This is done by putting practices in place that promote healthy soils (read more here); use water more efficiently; use less external inputs for grass growth (e.g. less fertiliser) and less bought feed for the cows. These practices also mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, which the dairy industry is notoriously associated with.

The value of sustainably produced milk spans past the price we pay for it – it contributes to our wellbeing nutritionally and has a less negative impact on the environment. I then would like to challenge us, the consumers, to not only consider the price when practicing our buying power – but rather the overall value it adds to our own wellbeing and that of the environment.

Anele Madlala

Anele is a sustainability researcher, having joined the team in January 2016. She has an honours B.Sc degree in Soil Science from the University of the Free State. She is passionate about natural resource management, with a particular interest in the soil and water relationship.

As an enthusiast of the arts, in her spare time, Anele enjoys painting and watching theatre productions. She loves visiting South African towns with rich histories, diverse cultures and beautiful landscapes. If she's not outdoors, you'll find her eyes glued to the National Geographic channel.

Keen to get in touch? E-mail Anele on or connect with her on LinkedIn
LinkedIn: Anele Madlala