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Lactalis SA crowned South African Dairy Product of the Year

South African Dairy Product of the Year at the Agri-Expo Qualité Awards has crowned Lactalis SA's Président Extra Mature Cheddar as its 2020 winner. This year's award ceremony of the annual SA Dairy Championships, which took place on 26 March 2020, was presented as a virtual event for the first time in its 187th anniversary in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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The judging of the competition took place on 27 February in Cape Town before the first coronavirus case was recorded in South Africa.

"The cancellation of the black-tie event does not put a damper on the fact that a record number of 975 products from 74 manufacturers competed in more than 100 different classes this year. The increase in entries and the fact that 11 new manufacturers joined, is good news for the dairy industry, which is being hampered by challenges such as the ongoing drought and now also the COVID-19 pandemic," says Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive of Agri-Expo.

From the entries, only 23 were honoured with the Qualité mark of excellence (full list of the crème de la crème below) and 107 were named SA Champion.

"This is the third time in five years we have won the Product of the Year award for one of our cheeses," says a proud Marek Warzywoda, general manager: Lactalis SA (LSA).

"I am so proud of the LSA team. It is a clear indication of just how high the quality of our products is and how dedicated and diligent our teams are. We would like to thank Agri-Expo for another fantastic and well-organised competition and for upholding such high standards for the local dairy industry. Awards, in particular the Product of the Year accolades, are such incredible testaments to the LSA team’s ongoing ambition to deliver quality products."

The chief judge of the championships, dairy expert Alan Fourie, says to produce an exceptional cheddar that can be matured for longer than 10 months is in itself quite a challenge. "The Président Extra Mature Cheddar is full rounded with a sweet, nutty profile that melts in the mouth. Truly an exceptional product which deserves this award as Product of the Year."

Agri-Expo expresses its appreciation to the partners of the Qualité Awards, namely Synercore, Lake Foods, Woolworths, MANE, Guth SA, Orchem, Condio, the Milk Producers Organisation (MPO), The Dairy Mail and the South African Society for Dairy Technology (SASDT), for their commitment to the development of the SA dairy industry.

The 2020 Qualité winners are:

1Fair Cape DairiesWoolworths Whipping Cream Pasteurised
2Fair Cape DairiesFair Cape Fresh Cream Pasteurised
3Fair Cape DairiesFair Cape Chocolate Dessert
4Fair Cape DairiesWoolworths Chocolate Mousse
5Fair Cape DairiesFair Cape Fresh Full Cream Milk
6Fair Cape DairiesFair Cape Full Cream Plain Yoghurt
7Fair Cape DairiesFair Cape Full Cream Guava Yoghurt
8Lactalis SAWoolworths Extra Mature White Cheddar
9Lactalis SAPrésident Extra Mature Cheddar
10Lactalis SAWoolworths Mature Gouda
11Darling RomeryFresh Cream
12Darling RomeryFull Cream Strawberry Drinking Yoghurt
13Fairfield DairySPAR Fat Free Peach Apricot Yoghurt
14Fairfield DairyFirst Choice Full Cream Peach Apricot Flavoured Smooth Yoghurt
15Polar Ice Cream CompanyStrawberry Cheesecake Buttermilk Frozen Yoghurt
16Polar Ice Cream CompanyBlueberry Cheesecake Buttermilk Frozen Yoghurt
17Clover SASpringbok Unsalted Butter
18Foxenburg EstateVanilla Greek Style Yoghurt
19Langbaken Karoo CheeseLangbaken Karoo Crumble
20Lausanne DairiesPasteurised Full Cream Milk
21Limpopo DairiesHyjo Full Cream Chocolate Caramel Flavoured Smooth Yoghurt
22Marcel’s Frozen YoghurtLow Fat English Toffee Frozen Yoghurt
23Woodlands DairyFirst Choice Unsalted Butter

View the full results here.

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