​ R10m upgrade for East London dairy

30 July 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915528

Agriculture & Sugar
​ R10m upgrade for East London dairy

FURTHER expansions at the Sundale Dairy plant at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) now include the installation of a new system that increases capacity for cream, the precious commodity that drives profits in the dairy sector.

Japie Steyl, Head of Food Technology at Sundale said, “We have more-or-less outgrown the facility and have had to find innovative ways to increase capacity for our cream line which is used for butter and sold in bulk to the catering market. The new Guth equipment improves quality and extends the shelf life of the cream.”

He said the company had looked to Sweden for inspiration and implemented the Scania method of cream manufacture, which embraces cream pasteurization technology that delivers on improvements in quality and shelf-life of the end-product. The upgrade of the new cream line includes new holding tanks with a capacity of 20 000 litres at a time.

This upgrade at the East London dairy plant comes on the heels of general factory upgrades, and improvements in the butter factory. The combined investment in the cream and butter lines comes in at just under R10 million.

According to CEO, Pierre van Rensburg, “We are currently experiencing accelerated growth as we extend our offering to new markets. This relates to job creation, secure passage to market for our farmers and improved competitiveness in our sector. Our aggressive growth strategy is matched by our uncompromising commitment to quality and the recent Agri Awards for best Maas and Cheese Slices are testament to that”.

He said the acquisition of the imported equipment for the butter factory would allow them to considerably improve efficiencies and maximise productivity.

“The new automated equipment for the butter factory is part of a further expansion at the plant which not only allows us to meet the growing demand for our butter but also to accommodate our growing staff complement.”

Sundale butter is currently sold under label at regional outlets from the borders of Kwa-Zulu Natal to the far reaches of the interior of the province but is also available at Woolworths stores nationwide. Van Rensburg said the company had demonstrated consistent growth in line with their projections and are set to double the size of their operation in the next three years.

Sundale still receives milk from 13 farms within an estimated 50km average distance from the plant in the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ). They manage their own fleet and are describe themselves as “particularly strong in terms of distribution, maintaining strict quality control measures throughout the process from farm to fridge”.

The Sundale basket of products includes fresh milk, maas, yoghurt, dairy snack, cheese and their new blend of yoghurt and traditional mageu which is marketed as Yo-Mageu. The range is available at leading retailers, wholesalers and independent stores throughout the Eastern Cape Province, sold under private label countrywide and available to the catering sector in bulk offerings.

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