Meeting the happy cows of Fair Cape.
Last week I was invited by Fair Cape Eco-Fresh to visit their dairy. You are will know Fair Cape yogurts, milk and various other products from your local supermarket. I was introduced to the various measures that Fair Cape has implemented at their dairy to make them a more sustainable company.
Fair Cape Dairies is constantly striving to Carbon reduction throughout their company.
Last year in October (2018) Fair Capes Dairy began running on Solar Energy. The recently installed solar technology allows them to milk their cows “off -grid” during the day, lessening their reliance on traditional electricity and lowering their carbon footprint. Yearly The solar system generates over 160 000 kWh. By using solar power, the farms total energy consumption is reduced by 16% per year over 25 years.
Another of Fair Capes sustainability initiatives is using effluent water for the irrigation of the fruit and vegetables grown on their farms which are used in their yogurt and juice products. They also use the cow manure for fertilizing the fruit and vegetables – smart!
Doing the right thing means investing in recycling. Fair cape places a lot of emphasis on the importance of recycling and making the packaging of their products recyclable. You may have noticed that recently their milk bottle looks different. Fair Cape milk used to be sold in white PET bottle however, they started to receive feedback from their recycling partners that the white bottles added an extra step to their recycling process and were reluctant to accept them. With this in mind, Fair Cape has changed their milk bottles to be clear. The Fair Cape Milk bottles are also perfect containers for Eco Bricks, as they are already square like a brick. If you are making Eco bricks at home, remember this when buying dairy products.
One of the things that impressed me the most about my tour of the Dairy was how humanely the cattle are treated. Humanely and Dairy production are not two words that generally go together. I can guarantee you I would not be writing this article if I did not feel the cows were being treated well. I am a big champion for animal’s rights and welfare. These cows are extremely well looked after and pampered– they have massage machines in their barns. Dairy staff are not allowed to shout or bang any equipment as this stresses out the cows. Each cow is fitted with an ankle bracelet which monitors how many steps the cow took that day if a cow is not moving around a lot this usually means they are ill, and a vet is called to care for the animal. The barns are temperature controlled with fans, so they will never get too hot – cows don’t like hot weather.
At the end of our tour, we got to sample some of the Fair cape products. The new coffee mousse is to die for!
The visit got me thinking about how "we" as consumers can make a difference to the environment and to the treatment of animals. The answer is easy, we vote with our pockets by opting to buy products from companies that run ethical practices and choose to be more sustainable.
* This article was not paid for by Fair Cape Dairies *