March 30, 2022

Woolworths Mature Cheddar named SA’s Dairy Product of the Year


Lactalis South Africa’s 18-months Mature Cheddar, made especially for Woolworths, was crowned the Dairy Product of the Year at the 189th South African Dairy Awards on Friday 25 March 2022 at Cavalli Estate outside Stellenbosch.

The 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 (full list of the crème de la crème below) and 105 – the winners in each championship 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.” 

A CELEBRATION OF INNOVATION

The SA Dairy Championships has been presented by Agri-Expo with great success since 1834. According to Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, it is an exceptional privilege to present the championships for the 189th year, as Agri-Expo, the oldest agricultural society in South Africa, also celebrates 190 Years of Heritage and 25 Years of Innovation.

“Innovation indeed characterises this prestigious flagship project over many years,” says Ehlers. “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 championship 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.” 

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.” 

The SA Dairy Awards can still be viewed at www.cheesesa.co.za/sa-dairy-awards

From the high number of entries, a total of 26 were honoured with the Qualité mark of excellence.

2022 QUALITÉ AWARD WINNERS:

Lactalis South Africa:                

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 

Fairview Cheese Company:                  

Woolworths Chevin with Honey               

Woolworths Chevin with Garlic & Herbs

Woolworths Brie de Roche

Belnori Boutique Cheesery:                 

St Francis of Ashisi                                                                               

White Velvet

Clover SA:                                                      

Mooirivier Salted Butter              

Butro Modified Butter  

De Pekelaar Boerenkaas:                      

Boerenkaas Mature       

Boerenkaas Belegen

Klein River Cheese:                                   

Gruberg Young

Gruberg Mature              

Rhodes Food Group:                                

Woolworths Ayrshire Mozzarella   

Pizza Mozzarella              

Darling Romery:                                                

Full Cream Plain Yoghurt              

Dirla Jerseys:                                                      

Fumato with Paprika Rub & Oak Smoke

Fair Cape Dairies:                                              

Woolworths Fresh Custard with Vanilla Bean Seeds    

Foxenburg Estate:                                           

 Farmhouse Gouda

Ladismith Cheese Company:                       

Pizza Mozzarella              

Lancewood Holdings:                                     

Mushroom Sauce           

Mooivallei Suiwel:                                           

Rigg’s Salted Butter        

Polar Ice Cream:                                             

Maxi Chocolate Therapy      

For the full SA Dairy Championships results please visit www.cheesesa.co.za or contact Agri-Expo at +27 (0)21 975 4440 or cheese@agriexpo.co.za. 

Captions: 2022 South African Dairy Product of the Year – Lactalis South Africa’s 18-months Mature Cheddar (made especially for Woolworths)

Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, Lourens Heyns, Lactalis South Africa’s Bonnievale Plant Manager, Herman Janse van Rensburg, Chief Operating Officer of Lactalis South Africa and Alex Zabbia, Executive: Innovation and Quality of Synercore, platinum partner of the South African Dairy Championships.

Caption for the pic with all the people: From the high number of entries, a total of 26 were honoured with the Qualité mark of excellence.