Sunningdale Dairy, is undergoing a metamorphosis and has recently rebranded as Sundale Free Range Dairy in response to market research and as part of the handing over of the generations.
In a statement to the press, CEO Pierre van Rensburg , said “we are intent on providing authentic free range dairy to the province which is why being recognised as the ‘Greenest Dairy in the Province’ is particularly significant to us. We are working closely with our farmers on organic conversion, and this recognition spurs us on to achieve this as a priority.”
Van Rensburg went on to say that “ the conversion takes time but is tremendously rewarding. It runs alongside our project to develop a protocol for Free Range in South Africa. This is critical for consumers so that they are assured of real free range produce.”
East London is the natural home of dairy farmers in South Africa because the mild weather and natural grassy terrain allows farmers to let the cows roam freely throughout the year. In places with high frost like Gauteng, where there is no grass during their winter season, the cows need to be stall fed. This plays a critical role in the colour of the dairy produced, especially the butter. Dairy produced when cows roam freely in sunny dales and pastures, is rich in naturally occurring Omega 3’s and Beta Carotine, the precursor of Vitamin A, not found naturally in stall fed cows’ milk.
Sundale products are developed in the traditional methods as part of their endeavour to provide whole foods in their most natural form to the regional market. Their milk is provided by farmers within a 50km average radius of the impressive facility at the East London IDZ, ensuring that consumers do not have to carry the heavy travel and distribution costs incurred by other brands in the dairy sector.
Sundale is the largest private dairy in East London and currently employs over 400 people. It started out as a family concern, owned and run by Neil and Sandi van Rensburg and is now headed up by their son Pierre. An important player in the local economy, Sundale provides much needed employment opportunities in the province. They supply the major retail chains like Checkers, Shoprite, SPAR and OK Foods in the Eastern Cape, on the Garden Route and into Durban.