Lactalis South Africa’s 10-months Mature Gouda, made especially for Woolworths, was crowned the South African Dairy Product of the Year for an unrivalled third time at the South African Dairy Awards on Friday 26 March 2021 at Cavalli Estate near Stellenbosch. This achievement is a first for the SA Dairy Championships, celebrating its 188th year of existence.
The Gouda, an aromatic and full-flavoured cheese, was one of almost 900 dairy products from 68 producers that vied for the attention of the 60 judges. From the big number of entries, only eight were honoured with the Qualité mark of excellence (full list of the crème de la crème below) and 106 – the winners in each championships class – were named SA Champion.
“For a product to be chosen as Dairy Product of the Year in a competition of this nature is the dream of every cheesemaker,” says dairy expert and chief judge Alan Fourie. “That the honour befalls this year’s winner of the prestigious title for the third time, is exceptional. The Woolworths 10-months Mature Gouda truly is a product that has stood the test of time, but also a proof of the continued use of excellent ingredients. Technically and gastronomically it is as close to perfection as a cheese product can come.”
Marek Warzywoda, General Manager: Lactalis South Africa (LSA), says his team is overjoyed at having the choice Extra Mature Gouda named as the Product of the Year for an unprecedented third time. “In addition, this is also the fourth time we’ve claimed the overall top award in five years. Team LSA’s hard work, dedication and ambition to produce top quality products have once again paid off. We are immensely proud of our 2021 SA Dairy Championships performance.”
Warzywoda also complimented Agri-Expo on organising “yet another successful SA Dairy Championships and Awards”.
THE ONLY MAJOR DAIRY COMPETITION WORLDWIDE DURING COVID-19
The SA Dairy Championships has been presented by Agri-Expo with great success since 1834. According to Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, most important international dairy events worldwide were cancelled in 2020 and postponed in 2021. “The South African Dairy Championships is in fact the only major dairy championships in the world that took place in 2020 and 2021,” says Ehlers. “To make this possible, we had to adjust the judging process to two days and present the awards as a hybrid event.”
According to Ehlers, the large number of entries and extraordinary products entered this year are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the dairy industry in South Africa: “This year’s results testify to an innovative industry and healthy competition between individuals, small and medium businesses, as well as national and international companies.”
Agri-Expo would like to thank the Platinum partner Synercore as well as all the other partners of the SA Dairy Championships for their commitment to the development of the dairy industry, namely AECI Food & Beverage, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Condio, Hollard, the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO), The Dairy Mail, Woolworths, MANE, Orchem, Polyoak Packaging, IMCD and Tetra Pak.
2021 QUALITÉ AWARD WINNERS:
Clover – Frankfort (2)
Mooi River Salted Butter
Clover Salted Butter Mini Tubs
Lactalis South Africa (Ladismith) (2)
Woolworths Mature Gouda – 10 Months Matured
Président Mature Gouda – 6 months Matured
De Pekelaar Boerenkaas
De Pekelaar Boerenkaas Old
Famous Brands Cheese Company
Steers Processed Cream Cheese Spread – Onion and Chives
Fairview Cheese Company
Woolworths Chevin with Garlic and Herb
Fair Cape Dairies
Checkers Vanilla Flavoured Custard