“I wear my red EFF beret because they are the only organization interested in helping dairy farmers,” says Danie du Plooy, a farmer of Bultfontein.
Du Plooy was the talk of the town when he released 6 000 liters of milk on the ground last month, protesting against the low milk prices that milk farmers receive.
He says nhe has called for assistance in organized agriculture as well as the DA and ANC, but the only group that is interested in working with him is the EFF.
According to Du Plooy, the EFF plans to protest at the Free State Prime Minister’s office against the low milk prices paid to farmers.
“They were also shocked to hear the milk trucks ride through the Free State to the Cape to buy milk for Gauteng factories.”
Du Plooy says he will continue to raise awareness of the fate of smaller dairy farmers .
“I believe they know how to run a campaign, they have achieved a lot of success, as in the # FeesMustFall campaign,” says Du Plooy, who has been dairy farmers since 1976.
Before him, his father also had a dairy farm on the same farm.
Du Plooy says that since he spilled the milk on the ground in July, the milk price deteriorated further and where farmers in July were still paid R4.50 per liter, the price dropped to R4.00.
The Du Plooy family sold 35 of their milk cows and Du Plooy said his two sons, Eddie and Wouter, used the milk of the other cows to raise milk calves.
The brothers buy the calves from other farms to hand raise them. The dairy farms separate the calves shortly after birth from the cows to sell the maximum amount of milk.
“It’s just our plan B,” says Du Plooy.
The Milk Producers’ Organization (MPO) said in its August newsletter that milk exports increased sharply in June, while imports of long-leaved milk fell to less than 1 million litres.