May 24, 2024

Clement October receives inaugural Game Changer Award at SA Dairy Championships

Agri-Expo has honoured 34-year-old Clement October, head cheesemaker at Klein River Cheese, with the inaugural Hollard Game Changer Award. Announced at the prestigious South African Dairy Awards held in Durbanville last month, October was awarded a cash prize of R50 000, sponsored by Hollard.

The inception of this new accolade marks the 191st edition of the SA Dairy Championships, the biggest and oldest dairy competition in Africa. Hosted by Agri-Expo since 1834, the championships recognises and rewards excellence in the South African dairy industry.

According to Breyton Milford, General Manager of Agri-Expo, the Game Changer Award was conceived to recognise and encourage young individuals who have already made significant strides in the dairy industry.

An award-winning cheesemaker who enables change

October has been part of the award-winning Klein River Cheese in Stanford for 15 years. Starting his career at the age of 19 and apprenticing under the very best for 12 years, October has been leading their team as head cheesemaker for the last three years. Under his guidance, Klein River has crafted eight SA Champions, three Qualité Awards, and ten medals at the World Cheese Awards.

October has been focused on growing his technical and artistic cheesemaking knowledge and skills, especially in the fields of sensory evaluation, microbiology, and biochemistry. He has completed training in cheese and buttermaking, and is on track to receive his comprehensive ‘Dairyman: Ripened Cheesemaker’ qualification.

October is also responsible for nurturing new talent as a passionate youth developer himself. “It is an honour and a privilege to receive this award,” October says. “I could not have done it without my mentors, and I hope that I can inspire others in the industry, as I believe dairy is a powerful sector to enable change.”

1029 entries, 110 SA Champions, 30 Qualité awards and the ultimate Dairy Product of the Year

The 191st edition of the championships this year attracted a record number of 1 029 dairy products entered by 78 producers. The team of 82 judges representing 52 companies selected a total of 110 products as SA Champions. Thirty products were awarded with the esteemed Qualité mark of excellence, the only mark of excellence in the South African dairy industry. Woolworths 10-months Mature Gouda made exclusive for Woolworths by Lactalis South Africa was crowned the ultimate Dairy Product of the Year.

View the full results here