The South African Dairy Championships
The first dairy competition in South Africa was represented by the Society in 1895 when eight butter samples were entered and judged. Today the South African Dairy Championships is held annually and has become the country’s only leading event where dairy manufacturers can benchmark their products and improve quality.
Class winners in the Championships earn the title of SA Champion whereas products, which score more than a minimum number of points, are honoured with a Qualité Award – to indicate its outstanding quality. The product, which scored the highest point on show, is awarded the honour as the South African Dairy Product of the Year. The latest results are available on www.cheesesa.co.za
South African Cheese Festival
The four-day Cheese Festival is an opportunity for cheese makers to introduce their cheeses to cheese lovers and for consumers to experience new cheeses and tastes.
The Cheese Festival also fulfils an educational purpose through exhibiting dairy animals and hosting interesting lectures and demonstrations on cheese making and cheese applications. It is hailed by the media as the country’s premier food festival. Full details of this event are available on www.cheesefestival.co.za
Cheese making scholarship
Agri-Expo has been the project manager for an annual cheese making scholarship in France since 2005. The objectives are –
- to increase cheese-making knowledge;
- to grow capacity; and
- to add value to primary dairy products
Sponsorships from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and the Regional Government of Burgundy make it possible to train four young cheese makers during June of every year in the art of cheese making. Past students have been active in improving cheese quality and developing new cheeses, which are successful in the market.
The groundwork for an international diploma in cheese making has been completed and it is foreseen that this diploma will be presented jointly at The Cape Institute for Agricultural Training at Elsenburg and Centre de Formation Professionnelle Promotion Agricole in Davaye, Burgundy.
South African cheese website
Educational promotions of cheese
This website (www.cheesesa.co.za) was established by Agri-Expo during 2003 to inform local and international cheese lovers and interested parties about the industry and its products. The website is visited by some 20 000 visitors per month.
Regular educational promotions are held in conjunction with top-end wine tastings such as with the Double Gold Medal Veritas wines. Cheeses, which have earned the prestigious Qualité Awards, are presented to discerning guests at high profile venues while promoting the purpose of the Award as well as exposing branded cheeses to heavy cheese consumers.