Agriculture: SA Dairy Championships Makes History


Attended the South African Dairy Championships judging that took place at the Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC) on Wednesday the 11th March 2015.  Learnt a few things about the history and the current state of our dairy industry but that is another post.  For now, this is what happened at the judging…..


South African dairy products are of exceptional quality.  This is the overall feedback from the 61 judges that participated in the 2015 South African Dairy Championships, sponsored by DuPont.  The judging made history with a record number of 879 product entries from 80 producers.


We are extremely excited about this record number of entries because it is a clear indication of the high level of confidence dairy producers has in the championships”, says Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo and organizers of the event. “We were particularly impressed with the 17% increase in producer participation, as it shows a growing need to benchmark their products at a national standard”.


The aim of the championships is to continuously improve the quality of dairy products, to measure products against each other and to utilize the awards in marketing campaigns.  The SA Champions are winners in each of the 95 classes in the eight categories, namely cheese, butter, yoghurt, dairy dessert, cottage cheese, ice cream, cultured and flavoured milk and dairy dips.  The Qualité mark is awarded to products of excellence and the overall winning product receive the Dairy Product of the Year accolade.


According to Kobus Mulder, chief judge, “the cheese category is by far the largest, taking up more than half of the entries. The quality of goat’s milk- and continental cheeses increased significantly over the years.  This is mainly due to a growing level of knowledge amongst artisanal cheese makers”.


It’s amazing to be involved in the SA Dairy Championships and to see and taste such an unbelievable selection of cheeses and other dairy products”, says Abigail Donnelly, Editor of Eat Out Magazine, Food Editor of Taste Magazine and one of the judges. “My message to consumers is simple.  There is nothing like it in South Africa, yet this is a world-class event with outstanding quality products”.


The winners will be announced at the prestigious DuPont Qualité Awards Dinner on 22 April 2015 at Grand West.

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Featured Image:

Back – Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo and organisers of the SA Dairy Championships; Craig Cormack, Chef:Goose Roasters; Kobus Mulder, Chief Judge; Rudi Liebenberg, Executive Chef: Mount Nelson; Ian Bergh, Chef: De Grendel Restaurant; Christo Pretorius, Executive Chef: Azure Restaurant.

Front: Tanja Kruger, Chef: Makaron Restaurant; Pete Goffe-Wood, Chef: Kitchen Cowboys; Abigail Donnelly, Editor: Eat Out Magazine & Food Editor: Taste Magazine; Darren Badenhorst, Executive Chef: Grand Provence.

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

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