Brookside pays dairy farmers Sh100m in bonuses


A Brookside worker tests milk quality in Nyandarua. PHOTO | FRANCIS MUREITHI

Dairy farmers contracted by Brookside Dairy have been paid more than Sh100 million in cash bonuses under a scheme that rewards farmers for milk quality and surpassing supply targets.

The reward scheme has boosted the supply of high-quality milk that has enabled the processor to tap a larger share of the high-value products that deliver premium prices.

The quality-based pricing model is influenced by the amount of butterfat in a kilogramme of raw milk, milk free from antibiotics and added water.

This was a shift from the current pricing model that relies on the weight of milk and does not fully reward farmers for high-quality husbandry.

“This initiative started soon after Covid-19 hit the country and we made a bold move to pay our farmers Sh42 per kilo and the move has paid dividends as farmers have doubled their efforts,” said Mr John Gethi, Brookside’s director of milk procurement and manufacturing,

“This is a major milestone by Brookside to support the farmers braving shocks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic that cut performance across all sectors,” added Mr Gethi.

The quest for milk with high-fat content in milk comes at a time when Brookside is seeking more revenues from products such as ghee and butter as well as yoghurt and sour milk.

“Good quality dairy products can only be made from good quality raw milk. The attribute of quality in our dairy products cannot be achieved without the involvement of our farmers in the production and supply of quality raw milk,” Mr Gethi said.

He said Brookside will continue to build the capacity of farmers on quality husbandry including regular training of farmers and improved extension services.

Premium products such as ghee and butter are fast emerging as a healthy option at a time when food choices are becoming a key consideration among Kenya’s urban population.