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Lactalis South Africa’s 18-month mature cheddar, made especially for Woolworths, was crowned the Dairy Product of the Year at the 189th South African Dairy Awards held 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 below) and 105 – the winners in each championships 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-month mature cheddar truly is an exceptional product worthy of this accolade.”

Alban Damour, general manager: 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.”

Read more about the South African dairy industry here.

A celebration of innovation

Agri-Expo has presented the SA Dairy Championships 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.”


Lactalis South Africa (5) Woolworths mature cheddar 18 months matured
Woolworths white cheddar six months matured
Président yellow cheddar six months matured
Woolworths salted butter
Président mature gouda six months matured
Fairview Cheese Company (3) Woolworths chevin with honey
Woolworths chevin with garlic and herbs
Woolworths Brie De Roche
Belnori Boutique Cheesery (2) St Francis of Ashisi
White Velvet
Clover SA (2) Mooirivier salted butter
Butro modified butter
De Pekelaar Boerenkaas (2) Boerenkaas mature
Boerenkaas Belegen
Klein River Cheese (2) Gruberg young
Gruberg mature
Rhodes Food Group (2) 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

– Press release, Agri-Expo