Environmental Sustainability Programme


This sub-project is managed by Dr Colin Ohlhoff (Ph.D, Biotechnology) (on the right).

Like all food related industries, the dairy industry should not only be seen as a responsible industry, but also act according to all moral and ethical norms possible in order to ensure a sustainable regime for all in the value chain, including the consumer.

Environmental sustainability is structured according to the FAO-IDF Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam(DDoR) and the Dairy Sustainability Framework (DSF), which endorses the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and provides guidelines for sustainable development. Environmental integrity pertains to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, soil health and nutrient supply, waste management, water quality and quantity and biodiversity.

The environment forms but one aspect of the sustainability programme of work of Milk SA and international bodies.

The document “South Africa’s reaction to The Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam and to questions regarding actions to comply with the declaration” was approved by the Milk SA Board of Directors on 16 September 2020. The Dairy Declaration was launched at the IDF World Dairy Summit in Rotterdam on Wednesday, 19th October 2016. It included short presentations and proof points from global dairy leaders as well as from Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on the contribution of the dairy sector to the achievement of key Sustainable Development Goals such as ending poverty and hunger, and protecting the environment. Milk South Africa, MPO and SAMPRO officially endorsed this Declaration.

In September 2022, the organized dairy industry of South Africa (MPO, SAMPRO, DSA and Milk SA) compiled and signed a declaration in respect of the “Pathways to Dairy Net Zero” initiative of the Global Dairy Platform.

The document Sustainability in the SA dairy industry: A status and Progress Report (authors: Dr Heinz Meissner and Dr Colin Ohlhoff) was structured according to the The Dairy Declaration of Rotterdam and also approved by the Board of Directors on 16 September 2020.

Dr Heinz Meissner compiled two further important papers for the industry, namely: