Sun­dale, Just Milk ac­quire cream­ery


AWARD-win­ning Sun­dale Free Range Dairy in the East Lon­don In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Zone (ELIDZ) has joined forces with Just Milk to ac­quire Cook­house Cream­ery, one of the largest or­gan­i­sa­tion of dairy farm­ers in the coun­try.

Mas­sive up­grades are un­der­way at the new Cook­house fa­cil­ity which was pre­vi­ously owned by Dairy­belle.

The move puts Sun­dale firmly on the na­tional map and ce­ments their po­si­tion on the shelf with other big names in the in­dus­try. The ac­qui­si­tion builds upon a R4-mil­lion in­vest­ment in a cheese fac­tory at the East Lon­don plant in 2016.

Ac­cord­ing to HR Man­ager, Brian Chitwa, the Cook­house op­er­a­tions are set to boost em­ploy­ment num­bers and to cre­ate jobs.

“We have started re­cruit­ing and have in­vited ap­pli­ca­tions from for­mer Dairy­belle em­ploy­ees. There has been an over­whelm­ing re­sponse from the lo­cal com­mu­nity. All ap­pli­cants will go through the re­cruit­ment process.

“We will start op­er­a­tions with a team of about 30 peo­ple, in­clud­ing en­gi­neers and per­son­nel for the fi­nance de­part­ment,” he said.

Gen­eral Man­ager at the Sun­dale Cook­house Cream­ery, El­ize de Vos, said: “At our peak, this fa­cil­ity em­ployed 107 peo­ple. We look for­ward to de­vel­op­ing it to the point where we can again be­come lead­ing em­ploy­ers in the Cook­house com­mu­nity. The com­mu­nity ea­gerly await the start of op­er­a­tions at the fac­tory. They are very en­thu­si­as­tic about the re­gen­er­a­tion of the cream­ery and grate­ful for the jobs that the con­struc­tion works have al­ready cre­ated in the area,”.

Cook­house is lo­cated in what can be con­sid­ered the dairy belt of South Africa. A mere 24-kilo­me­tres east of Som­er­set East, it is the home of many dairy farm­ing op­er­a­tions.

It has also achieved much ac­claim in the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor as home to pos­si­bly the largest wind farm in Africa.

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