Ladismith Cheese Company is situated in the picturesque town of Ladismith in the western klein karoo region of South Africa.
Cheese has been manufactured in Ladismith since 1940 and since its inception in June 1999, Ladismith Cheese has joined this proud tradition. Today a rich variety are of quality cheese, butter and milk powder products are available in supermarkets throughout the major centres of South Africa, securing the Company’s position as a trusted household name for many South African consumers.
The Company started operations with milk intake of 15000 litres per day and initially only Gouda and cheddar cheese were produced. In the years since inception, a large variety of products were added to its portfolio including specialty cheese such as Edam, Ladismither, Mature Cheddar, White Cheddar, White Gouda and Mozzarella. The Company has also diversified its business within the dairy industry to include butter, which the company began producing in 2002, and on completion of the first powder plant in 2004 milk powder, buttermilk powder, whey powder and coffee creamers too.
Ladismith Cheese has expanded considerably over the last 20 years and daily milk intake has exceeded the 200 000 litre mark with roughly 700 tons of cheese and 200 tons of butter being produced on a monthly basis. These products are sold through the food services, retail, wholesale and food production industries throughout South Africa and some Sub-Saharan African countries.
LADISMITH CHEESE COMPANY (PTY) LTD WAS FOUNDED IN JUNE 1999.
Initially milk was sourced only in the local area surrounding the town of Ladismith. However, as the company began to grow valuable partnerships with milk producers throughout the Southern Cape, Overberg and coastal area of the Eastern Cape allowed cheese production to be increased and more customers, business partners and farmers came on board.
In 2002, the company expanded its operations to include the production of butter.
In 2002, we expanded our production to include butter. We started small, using the cream that was available from cheese production, but quickly scaled up and soon manufactured salted as well as unsalted butter in bulk and 500g retail packs. Today, Ladismith Butter and Ladismith Spreado Butter spread are firm favourites with shoppers across the nation.
The latest addition to the Ladismith Butter family is unsalted cultured butter, cultured with active bacteria that facilitate digestion and is suitable for consumers who are lactose intolerant.
LADISMITH POWDER COMPANY WAS FORMED AS A FULL SUBSIDIARY.
In 2004, Ladismith Powder Company was formed as a full subsidiary and a first powder plant was built next to the cheese factory to manufacture whey powder and buttermilk powder. A subsequent plant is dedicated to the production of milk blends, skimmed milk powder and different types of coffee creamer.
Our powder products are widely available to both private and commercial customers throughout South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Fixed weight cheese.
In March 2015 large sections of our cheese and butter factories were damaged in a fire. We used this opportunity to upgrade our equipment and introduced fixed weight cheese portions. Today our customers throughout South Africa and neighbouring countries have a choice from 125g to 800g fixed weights to suit their preference.
Ladismith Cheese procures milk in the Southern and Eastern Cape regions of South Africa. These milk producers supply the company with high quality milk suitable for manufacturing an exceptional range of cheese, butter and milk powders. A solid relationship with our milk producers is of utmost importance and individual producers are seen as stakeholders and partners to the business rather than suppliers. The majority of milk producers have been supplying milk to Ladismith Cheese for between 8 and 20 years.
We also make sure that good manufacturing principles are practised on these farms. The majority of farms we collect milk from use free grazing principles to feed cows before being taken to the milk parlour for the milking cycle.
Close to 20% of our milk is procured in the Eastern Cape area from black owned, previously disadvantaged community trusts. We are proud to have played an active part in their journey of becoming mega farmers in their own right. What an achievement for these pioneers in the dairy farming community!
The Ladismith Cheese Group of companies are fully committed to sustainable manufacturing and operations. We invest heavily in processes and systems to limit our environmental impact. A filtration plant for cleaning effluent water was installed and we are in the next phase of the process to get the water potable for re-use in the production cycle.
Situated in the Klein Karoo, we fully understand drought cycles and realise the value of water and the limitation of its availability. We further invested in in-process systems for improving factory methods to limit water usage and recycling of cleaning solutions to be able to significantly reduce and limit dependency on potable water from the local municipality. Ladismith Cheese uses all the milk-water (water coming from the milk) in existing facilities in and around the factories.
Corporate Social Investment
Ladismith Cheese is involved in various CSI projects in our local community and is proud to support the town of Ladismith and surrounding areas. Around 90% of the company’s total salary bill is being spent in the local community. Our focus is on local supplier spending and various local small upcoming and qualifying black owned businesses have been developed over the past 20 years.
Ladismith Cheese has continuously been involved in various soup kitchens, food parcel projects and provided support to local non-profit institutions. The Company supports all local schools and old age homes with significant annual donations for assistance to support their cause. For the past 12 years we have been supporting a number of previously disadvantaged learners with a full scholarship from Grade 8 to 12 at Oakdale Agricultural School. In partnership with two other local businesses Ladismith Cheese is also on a 3 year journey with Amazing Brainz with the focus on early childhood development. This program is aimed at getting the various pre-schools formally structured, registered and trained for the benefit of the community, its people, children and all businesses in the long term.
The annual Ladismith Cheese Seweweekspoort Mountain Bike and Trail Running race is a highlight of the year. Ladismith Cheese has been the main sponsor of this event since inception 16 years ago. The race is practically limited due to accommodation availability in the area and it has been close to a sell out on an annual basis. The investment and impact this event has in the community and for its people are extremely valuable and we are proud to be involved in this event.