Dairy Championships
From left to right are Breyton Milford (operations manager of Agri-Expo), Marlene van der Westhuizen (judge and celebrity chef), Johan Ehlers (CEO of Agri-Expo), Yumna Seedat (novice judge and product developer at Woolworths) and Alan Fourie (chief judge) at the 2021 SA Dairy Championships.

Nearly 900 dairy products were entered in the 2021 South African Dairy Championships, the largest and oldest dairy competition in Africa. The judging once again took place at Elsenburg outside Stellenbosch after 17 years, where it was previously hosted for ten years from 1995 to 2004.

“It is a remarkable achievement that the dairy industry has entered such an enormous number of products after such a difficult year in 2020,” says Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo. Agri-Expo has been the organiser of the championships since 1834. “It is also exciting that out of the 68 participating manufacturers, eight new participants have entered the championships this year.”

The judging process had to be divided into two days this year, with only 30 judges per day. According to chief judge Alan Fourie, the competition is among the only competitions in the world where there are five judges per category. “The SA Dairy Championships create a special platform to promote excellence in the dairy industry. Only the best of the best from each manufacturer is entered and therefore, the judging has become the national standard according to which large and small manufacturers – from international companies to small cheesemakers – measure themselves against every year,” says Fourie.

SA Dairy Awards announced virtually

The winner in each of the more than 100 SA Dairy Championships classes is crowned SA Champion, while products of exceptionally high quality also receive the Qualité Award, which is recognised as the only mark of quality for dairy products in South Africa. A panel of five experts determines the Product of the Year. These winners will be announced during the South African Dairy Awards on Friday, 26 March 2021. Those interested can join from 19:00 to 20:00 for a virtual ceremony hosted at Cavalli Estate.

The 2021 SA Dairy Championships are made possible by the partners Agri-Expo, Synercore, AECI Food & Beverage, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Condio, the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO), The Dairy Mail, Woolworths, Hollard, Mane, Orchem, Polyoak Packaging, IMCD, and Tetra Pak.

For more information, visit www.cheesesa.co.za and www.agriexpo.co.za, or contact Agri-Expo on 021 975 4440 or cheese@agriexpo.co.za. – Press release, Agri-Expo