3. Fair Cape is absolutely transparent regarding Fair Cape Free Range; at every instance where the Fair Cape Free Range brand is published , it is always accompanied by the following bullet points explaining exactly what Fair Cape Free Range stands for:
- They live in super comfort in spacious surroundings
- They can choose between basking in the sun or lazing in the shade
- They eat only natural feeds, with no animal by-products
- No artificial hormones added
- They receive daily health check ups and medical care is always available
- At Fair Cape, we’re serious about keeping the environment in tip top shape
WE CARE ABOUT NATURE
Our milk is produced in an environmentally friendly manner. We recycle, have measures in place to prevent any harm to natural systems, and we re-use our cleaning water after filtration.
4. We also have weekly school tours, and have taken well over 10,000 school children through our school tours since inception.
5. And finally, we have a full and comprehensive explanation of exactly what Fair Cape Free Range stands for which we invite you to look athttp://www.faircape.com/freerange.php
All of this, in reality, makes Fair Cape Dairies one of the most transparent dairies in the world, let alone in South Africa.
How many other South African dairies have a Cow comfort indicator, a carbon reduction program, recycle cleaning water after filtration and have plans for eco-friendly energy generated from processing otherwise-harmful methane?
Fair Cape is taking the lead in terms of good animal husbandry and eco-friendly milk production and setting the example for others to follow. For Fair Cape to be targeted by animal and eco-activists is a pity as it is really a case of the tallest trees catching the most wind.
Fair Cape has, over the last number of years differentiated themselves significantly from the industry with regards to dairy farming practices. We believe that the fact that Fair Cape is so open and transparent is a clear indication of Fair Cape’s bona fides with regard to the above.
Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your response. I have a few questions for you – you can either answer them for me (and perhaps amend your official response, which I will then upload), or I can upload the document now, and respond publicly on my blog.
First, I would like to clarify my reasons for investigating Fair Cape, before investigating other dairies. Fair Cape appears to be a leader in commercial dairy production in South Africa – both in terms of milk quality and ‘cow comfort’. If consumers have a better understanding of how the ‘best’ milk in South Africa is produced, they will understand how high the bar is set in the dairy industry. If they are content with this standard, they will continue to purchase Fair Cape products, and if they are not, they will understand that they need to move away from purchasing industrially produced dairy. It’s as simple as that.
I have every intention of approaching other dairies as well, to see for myself how other dairies (that have not set as high a standard as Fair Cape) treat their animals and regulate the quality of their milk. I do hope you understand that this ‘exposé’ has not been an attack on Fair Cape: rather, it has been an attempt to make the information about this dairy more easily available in the public domain, thereby making Fair Cape truly transparent.
Here are my questions:
1) Can you give me an estimate of what period of time, including a minimum and maximum, the cows spend in the pastures each year?
2) What quantity of milk does a Friesland cow produce, on average, when she is not being milked to human ends?
3) Why have South African dairy producers, Fair Cape included, chosen to use cows of European origin – instead of indigenous cows that are accustomed to the South African climate?
4) When will the new labels, without the words “graze” and “pasture”, be visible on supermarket shelves?
5) You say that Fair Cape hosts weekly tours: during which months of the year does Fair Cape not host school tours? (I was under the impression that ‘tour season’ started around September – implying that there are several months during the year where Fair Cape does not invite school tours to visit the dairy.)
6) With regard to the Fair Cape website, there are a number of misleading images. The cow that is pictured on the homepage, about halfway down the page, is surprisingly clean – spotless in comparison with the cows I saw when I visited, who were covered in faeces. The next photograph portrays a cow’s ankle, with tag, photographed in a patch of grass – implying that the cows live spend their days in pasture, which is incorrect.
7) Several people have mentioned to me that the Fair Cape yoghurt labels have been especially misleading. The words “Fair Cape” and “TM” are written in very small letters, while “FREE RANGE” is written in comparatively huge, bold letters. How do you justify this?
8) When, exactly, does Fair Cape intend to implement the plans for methane-capture? It is good, but not enough that this is simply in the planning phase: one can claim to be planning a grandiose project for many years, and be praised for it – but it is the implementation of the plan that will make an actual difference.
I hope these questions are fair, and that you are able to respond to them.