Agri-Expo entered into a collaborative agreement with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to support the Department’s commitment to promote Western Cape products in the domestic market.  This emphasizes Agri-Expo’s commitment to promote the image of Agriculture and to create awareness amongst consumers about the role of agriculture in their everyday lives.

 

According to the Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, this initiative forms part of the Provincial Strategic Plan under Project Khulisa, (which means “To Grow” in Xhosa) and aims to increase market growth and job opportunities in the agri-processing sector.

 

This agreement will see the birth of the “Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives” project at the 2015 SA Cheese Festival.  “Being a proudly agricultural event, the SA Cheese Festival is the perfect platform to promote and showcase alternative products and creates valuable market access opportunities for producers and manufacturers from the niche agricultural commodities”, says Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, owners of the SA Cheese Festival.

 

The SA Cheese Festival is well-known for its widest variety of cheeses and the new focus on alternative crops and value-added products such aspomegranates, olives, nuts, persimmons, honey, mushrooms, herbs, sour figs and Rooibos tea will ensure an interesting dynamic to an already exciting product offering that supports the theme of innovation for this year.

 

“Innovation is a mechanism to stimulate competitiveness in any business sector and we believe that the agri-processing sector will be the platform for growth and job creation in the medium term.  The sector already stands at a total value of R12 billion and 79 000 job opportunities in the Western Cape”, says Winde. “The SA Cheese Festival adds significant value to the dairy industry and this enhances the role that we as agriculture play in terms of food security.  A successful platform like this elevates the profile of agriculture.  It is a firm stepping stone to create bigger platforms for agriculture in the Western Cape, South Africa and most definitely the African continent.”

 

The SA Cheese Festival takes place from 25-27 April 2015 at Sandringham, Stellenbosch. For more information, visit www.cheesefestival.co.za.

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Featured Image: Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer, Agri-Expo; Bongiswa Matoti, Director: Agricultural Economic Services,  Western Cape Department of Agriculture; Joyene Isaacs, Head of Department: Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities with a basket of some of the products that will be available at the SA Cheese Festival.

Image Credit: Gizelle van Wyk (Western Cape Department of Agriculture)

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