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FEATURED AUSTRALIA SA REPORT: Dairy Cows Munch on Reject Chocolate & Lollies that would have gone to Landfill


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Ace Press News From Cutting Room Floor: Published: June.01: 2023:

#AceNewsDesk – One of south-east South Australia’s biggest dairy producers is feeding his cows chocolate and lollies to improve their milk production while also reducing waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill.

James Mann runs more than 4,000 head of cattle at Wye, south-east of Mount Gambier…………..Rather than feeding his cows sugar for energy, as some dairy farmers do, he is feeding them the rejects from Mondelez’s confectionery factories in Melbourne.


He says the cows like it, and they do not seem to have a preference for any particular type of chocolate or lollies.

“Whatever Cadbury is making and don’t quite make the grade, our cows are pretty happy to see it — blocks of chocolate, snakes, Cherry Ripes, nougat, honeycomb — anything that Cadbury makes the cows get to have a chew on it,” he says.

Chocolate bars and coconut in a large cardboard box
Chocolate bar waste in a box for cows at James Mann’s farm.(ABC South East SA: Elsie Adamo)none

Some of the chocolate and lollies look similar to what humans would eat, while some are in giant blocks and yet more again are crushed up or in their component parts.

Mr Mann, who is also the chair of Dairy Australia, used to feed his cattle pure sugar, but price fluctuations made it difficult to contain costs.

The chocolate and lollies are mixed with the cattle’s other feed.

They also eat grass.

He says cows need sugar and oil in their diet, and chocolate has both.

“It’s all around maximising cows’ performance,” Mr Mann says.Cows are fed chocolate and lollies mixed in with their regular feed.(ABC South East SA: Elsie Adamo)none


Cows helping reduce landfill

While Mondelez did not reply to a request for comment, Mr Mann says he believes the chocolate and lollies would have otherwise gone to the dump.

“It’s part of recycling,” he says.

“I’m not certain what happened to it before, but I guess at one stage it would have gone to landfill.

“It must be better to get another use out of it when it ends up as food that people can’t eat, so from that point of view it’s good.”

Stop Food Waste Australia chief operating officer Mark Barthel says food waste would ideally be prevented altogether in factories but food going to animals is the next best thing.

And, yes, Mr Mann has heard the joke that his farm is where chocolate milk comes from.

“Sending food that would otherwise go to landfill and that is suitable for feeding animals to farmers and growers to use as animal feed is perfectly legitimate and far better than all of our food going to landfill,” he says.Milk from the farm goes into Farmers Union iced coffee.(ABC South East SA: Eugene Boisvert)none

“We’ve always had a bit of: ‘We’ll handle the chocolate milk out of this dairy, I’m hoping someone’s handling the strawberry milk from another dairy,'” Mr Mann says.

The milk does not taste significantly different and is mixed with milk from hundreds of other dairy farms when it is processed.

In a twist, though, the milk from Mr Mann’s farm actually does go into cartons of Farmers Union and Pura flavoured milks made at Bega’s factory in Adelaide.


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