Gay’s Guernsey Dairy

The Gay’s Guernsey Dairy started in 1990 with Gay van Hasselt milking  three cows in a stone kraal. This eventually resulted in producing yogurt and cheese as well. Her cheeses have won numerous awards abroad, and are now known across South Africa and the world.

All the products (except the yoghurt and drinking yoghurt) are made using full-cream, raw Guernsey milk from the Van Hasselt’s own herd of cows. Gay believes that the core of her success lies in the quality of the raw milk, making the products deliciously creamy, and steeped in natural flavour. Guernsey milk contains A2 Protein as opposed to A1 protein found in most conventional dairy products in South Africa. A2 protein may eliminate digestive discomfort for the milk sensitive. It also has three times as much omega 3, 12% more protein, 30% more cream, 33% more vitamin D, 25% more Vitamin A and 15% more calcium than milk containing A1 protein. However, these benefits are optimally consumed if the milk remains un-pasteurised as the pasteurization process reduces a lot of the nutrients in the milk.

Gay’s Guernsey Dairy is one of very few raw milk certified farms in South Africa. This means they have attained incredibly high standards of cleanliness and undergo regular and rigorous testing of their facilities, products, animals and methods. Gay’s farm is visited monthly (unannounced) by an inspector that tests the milk’s bacteria count, the health of the animals, the hygiene of the staff, the milking conditions and how the animals are treated. Every single milking is tested for bacteria/infection and the cows are all certified free of Tuberculosis & Brucellosis. Gay only uses milk from her own cows in all of her products to ensure traceability, quality and hygiene standards. There are no hormones or antibiotics in the milk and no colourants or chemicals are added. The free range cows graze on Lucerne grown organically on the farm. The yoghurt and drinking yoghurt is pasteurised in order to be able to introduce the live culture into it, necessary for making yoghurt. You might not get the full nutrient benefits due to the pasteurization but it is compensated for by the beneficial cultured bacteria that promotes gut health.