New category added to SA Dairy Championships

For the first time since the competition was initiated in 1834, a category for cream has been included in the South African Dairy Championships.

New category added to SA Dairy Championships
Judges (from left) Charl du Plessis, Allan Fourie and Kobus Muller, evaluating cheese during last year’s competition.
Photo: Courtesy of Agri-Expo
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The event has been hosted by Agri-Expo, previously known as Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society, since 1834.

Breyton Milford, operations manager at Agri-Expo, said that it had included a category for cream because of the robust competition in the sector, with consumers able to choose from many different brands. He added that not all cream tasted the same, or was processed and packaged the same.

“This is why we took the initiative to include this dairy product, to see what the experts say in order to guide the consumer, [and] also [to] give feedback to the processor,” Milford said.

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He added that cream would be judged on flavour, appearance, colour, body and texture.

The South African Dairy Championships is the biggest, oldest and most prestigious dairy event in the country. Including this new category, the championship now consists of 10 categories and more than 100 classes for end-products in the dairy industry.

The winners of each class are announced at the Qualité Awards Dinner, this year held on 23 March in Cape Town, while only products of exceptional quality receive the Qualité mark.

Last year, a record 854 products were entered by 83 dairy producers, with Parmalat’s 10-month-old matured Gouda announced Product of the Year.

According to Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, the ultimate aim of the competition was to promote excellence in the dairy industry.

“We are proud to host the only championship that involves all dairy products in South Africa.  The competition has become the benchmark for producers to measure themselves against each other. The Qualité mark is recognised by the industry as the only mark of quality for dairy products in South Africa,” Ehlers said.

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Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.