The winning cheddar, a full-rounded cheese with a nutty and slightly piquant flavour, was one of 920 dairy products from 68 producers that vied for the attention of a team of 60 judges. From the high number of entries, a total of 26 were honoured with the Qualité mark of excellence and 105 – the winners in each championships class – were named SA Champion.
“For a product to be chosen as Product of the Year in a competition of this nature is the dream of every dairy producer,” says dairy expert and chief judge Alan Fourie. “The Woolworths 18-months Mature Cheddar truly is an exceptional product worthy of this accolade.”
Alban Damour, GM: Lactalis Southern Africa, says his cheese team is delighted at having the quality of their products recognised for the third year running. “Our cheese team is once again credited for their expertise and passion and for their products that are on par with the best across the world and loved by South African consumers.
"We are proud of our long-standing business partnership with Woolworths, a business that values quality as much as we do. Lactalis SA also appreciates the work Agri-Expo does to recognise and celebrate the local dairy industry.”
The SA Dairy Championships has been presented by Agri-Expo since 1834.
“Innovation indeed characterises this prestigious flagship project over many years. In 2001, we created the Qualité logo as the only mark of excellence for South African dairy products.
“We hosted the very first virtual awards event in the South African agricultural sector in 2020. Moreover, we are the only organisation in the world that could present a major dairy championships continuously over the past three years, paving the way for the successful new concept of a hybrid SA Dairy Awards, hosted for the second year at Cavalli Estate as well as on our website,” commented Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo.
According to Ehlers, the high number of entries and the extraordinary products entered this year are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the dairy industry: “This year's results testify to an innovative industry and healthy competition between larger manufacturers and smaller entrepreneurs, with a total of five Qualités awarded to Lactalis South Africa, three to Fairview, two each to Clover SA, De Pekelaar Boerenkaas, Belnori Boutique Cheesery, Klein River Cheese and Rhodes Food Group, and a good distribution among the other winners.”
Woolworths Mature Cheddar 18 Months Matured
Woolworths White Cheddar 6 Months Matured
Président Yellow Cheddar 6 Months Matured
Woolworths Salted Butter
Président Mature Gouda 6 Months Matured
Woolworths Chevin with Honey
Woolworths Chevin with Garlic & Herbs
Woolworths Brie de Roche
St Francis of Ashisi
Mooirivier Salted Butter
Butro Modified Butter
Woolworths Ayrshire Mozzarella
Full Cream Plain Yoghurt
Fumato with Paprika Rub & Oak Smoke
Woolworths Fresh Custard with Vanilla Bean Seeds
Rigg’s Salted Butter
All the SA Dairy Awards winners can be viewed at www.cheesesa.co.za/sa-dairy-awards.