The 2024 South African Dairy Championships shatters records

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The judging of the 191st South African Dairy Championships took place on 7 and 8 March at the Eensgezind Venue near Durbanville. The championships, hosted by Agri-Expo since 1834, is not only the oldest but also the largest and most prestigious dairy competition in Africa.

Breyton Milford, general manager of Agri-Expo, said the 2024 SA Dairy Championship attracted 1 029 entries from 78 large, medium, and small dairy manufacturers. Both the number of entries and the number of manufacturers is a new record for the competition.

Twelve new manufacturers entered this year according to Milford. This is proof that the competition is growing, credible and industry-supported.

The SA Dairy Championships, which is the only competition that recognises quality dairy products that are on store shelves, have benefits for the consumer and the manufacturers of the various dairy products. “The consumer can see and buy the quality products on the store shelves and the manufacturers get recognition for their winning products. This gives them an advantage over products that have not won. So, the competition has a huge marketing value for the dairy industry”, Milford said.

He said the purpose of the SA Dairy Championships is to recognise and promote excellence in the dairy industry. This championship has become the industry benchmark for dairy manufacturers to measure themselves against each other.

Agri-Expo introduced the Qualité Mark of Excellence in 2001, which stands as South Africa’s exclusive mark of excellence within the dairy industry. The winning product in each of the 100+ classes receives the title of SA Champion, while only a few outstanding products are awarded the Qualité Mark of Excellence. “The product with the highest score is honoured as the SA Dairy Product of the Year”, explained Milford.

The awards will be presented at the prestigious SA Dairy Awards which will take place on 25 April at Eensgezind in Durbanville.

Continuously improving

Graham Sutherland, chief judge of the 2024 South African Dairy Championships, said the championship is very important to the dairy industry. This year a panel of 86 judges judged more than 1000 dairy products. The judges evaluated the appearance, texture and flavour of products in ten categories (cheese, butter, yoghurt, cottage cheese, ice cream, cultured and flavoured milk, dairy desserts, dairy dips, milk and UHT milk and cream) and more than 100 classes for end products in the dairy industry.

According to Sutherland, a competition of this nature and scope is complex. “That is why we have five judges per category selected from the broad dairy industry, including cheese makers, quality managers, food technologists and marketing experts.” Sutherland, who is a food technologist himself, has many years of international experience in the sensory evaluation of dairy products. “Due to the record number of entries, we now need to capture more than 5 000 leaderboards to determine the results.”

Find out more about the ARC Master Dairyman Awards here.

He said it is encouraging to see the number of entries growing each year. In the bigger classes like the Cheddar and Gouda classes, there is healthy competition among the major manufacturers. Every year some of the winning products are sent overseas to participate in international competitions and we know that there are winners in certain categories.

“The cheese category is the largest, taking up half of the entries. The quality of the cheese products entered this year is of a very high standard and the cheese makers can be very proud of the products they entered,” commented Sutherland.

“We see a lot of innovation, especially among the manufacturers who enter goat milk products. There is a lot of creativity and you see it in the appearance of their cheeses and also how they exhibit it. It is nice to see the creativity come through,” Sutherland said.

He thanked the new platinum partners, IMCD and DSM, and all the other partners of the SA Dairy Championships. “Without partners, the competition cannot be successfully hosted,” Sutherland said. – Hugo Lochner, Plaas Media

Must read

Dairy industry benefits from research at Outeniqua Research Farm

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes Western Cape minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, recently visited the Western Cape Department of Agriculture’s Outeniqua Research Farm, outside of George. The research farm is known for its...

Katoen-verwysingsprys: Week van 8 April tot 12 April 2024

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Katoenprodusente-organisasie (SAKPO), met die ondersteuning van Katoen SA, het ’n platform geskep om elke week ’n gemiddelde verwysingsprys vir katoenvesel deur te gee. Hierdie is slegs ’n afgeleide prys wat bereken word op...
So ’n span gesonde kalwers op goeie groenweiding bied die beste potensiaal vir sukses.

Strategieë vir die voerkraalvoorbereiding van kalwers

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes Voerkraalvoorbereiding, beter bekend as backgrounding, verwys na ’n fase in die beesvleisproduksieproses waar jong beeste, tipies pas-gespeende kalwers, in ’n voerprogram geplaas word wat daarop gemik is om hulle...

Ekonomiese oorsig vir Maart: Landboumarkte wissel

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes Die rand het ‘n goeie maand ervaar tydens Maart en het deurlopend teenoor die dollar versterk en ‘n redelike stabiele maand teenoor die euro ervaar. Die rand het die...
grootveeproduksiestelsels

Veediefstal: Omgewingskriminologie en misdaadanalise

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes Veediefstal is ‘n misdaad wat ouer as die berge is. Boba omskryf misdaadontleding as “die sistematiese studie van misdaad- en wanordeprobleme, asook ander polisieverwante kwessies – insluitend sosiodemografiese, ruimtelike...