Lynda and I bought our first dairy farm, Sea Rest on the Alexandria coasts ‘Golden Mile’, in April 1995. In 2004, after a consultation with Jeff Every of ACS Consulting, we made the decision to expand our dairy business beyond Sea Rest. Jeff introduced us to Dave Osborne of Number Two Piggeries (‘N2P’), a founding partner of a successful, predominantly piggery business.
N2P had recently bought an irrigation farm called Riverside, situated close to Cookhouse, on which they planned to build a piggery that would be supplied with whey from a nearby cheese factory belonging to Dairybelle at the time. Dave’s idea was to grow maize on the remainder of the farm using the water rights from the Fish River associated with the land purchased and fertilise that land with manure from the piggery but Jeff urged him to rather use the land to dairy farm and buy in his maize rather than produce it himself. Not being a dairy farmer himself, Jeff put Dave in touch with us and a new partnership was borne from a handshake at a meeting in Grahamstown. The partnership has since grown to multiple dairy farms and a great friendship has been formed between the Brotherton family and those of N2P’s, being the Osborne’s, von Memmerty’s and Miles’. I have always believed that true measure of a good partnership is the friendship that grows between partners. In this sense, we have been blessed.
As our partnership grew, the dairy group became a supplier to various milk buyers and a more significant customer to various agricultural companies, leading Lynda and I to feel that we needed something to link the collective dairies and people together – and so “Just Milk” was created.
Just Milk is therefore more of an identity than a brand as we have no product that we sell directly to the market. However, in order to create a culture across our group, we needed to create some commonality, we needed an identity. The name popped up and our artistic P.A. at the time, Lesley Pullen, designed the simple but striking logo (in our opinion at least!). Today, that logo is proudly displayed on all farm boards, vehicles, implements and tractors on all of the units we manage. The name not only represents our group, but proudly advertises the core of what we do and the purity of what we produce – just milk.
I have always believed that a business needs to develop its own culture and feel that the Just Milk name has done exactly that for our group. Much like the creation of this website, it is a source of pride for everyone involved in the Group in any way, big or small.
Written by Edgar Brotherton