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2018 #SACheeseFest is #WaterWise

Agri-Expo annually hosts the South African Cheese Festival in the interest of the dairy industry and agri-processing sector. The SA Cheese Festival is the largest outdoor culinary event in Southern Africa and has been honoured several times by EXSA (Exhibition Association of Southern Africa) as the best exhibition in Southern Africa. The SA Cheese Festival has also been awarded Best Exhibition in Africa by AAXO (Association of African Exhibition Organisers) in 2016 and 2017. 30 000 members of the public annually attend this three-day event.

More than 160 companies and entrepreneurs make use of this platform to market their products to the public and to ensure market share. The SA Cheese Festival has a significant influence on the economic growth of SME’s, market accessibility and job creation, with particular reference to Small Cheesemakers, manufacturers of products of alternative crops and other entrepreneurs. The impact of tourism on the immediate environment as well as the investment by visitors are significant, according to research conducted by Agri-Expo. (TREES 2015 – Tourism Research in Economic, Environs & Society: NWU)

In response to Wesgro’s call to keep the Western Cape economy growing and create jobs during the current challenging drought, Agri-Expo has consulted with various role-players and found solutions to present the 2018 SA Cheese Festival in a water wise manner. The project is thus managed to ensure a successful event for all relevant role-players, namely exhibitors, suppliers, financial partners and the public, by removing the SA Cheese Festival from the existing water grid.

Interventions to minimise the impact on water resources:

  • All temporary toilets that will be brought onto the premises will be replaced with chemical toilets supplied by Sale’s Hire.
  • There are three official cooking demonstration areas at the SA Cheese Festival, namely: The Cooking Pot, Cape Made Kitchen and the Tasting Room. Each of the 3 identified areas will be serviced by containers filled with borehole water to meet the needs required for the washing of dishes and preparation.
  • Chefs who participate in these demonstrations will develop recipes that can be prepared ‘Waterless’. The demonstrations will be educational, to assist with further sustainable water saving in households.
  •  Oasis Water (Pty) Ltd is the official water supplier of water coolers inside the marquees for human consumption, as well as bottled water during the functions and various tastings. OASIS Water (Pty) Ltd) has confirmed that all water made available to the SA Cheese Festival will be obtained from non-drought-stricken areas in South Africa, with no impact on the Western Cape water grid. Drinking water is also offered for sale, provided by Peninsula Beverages (Bon Aqua and Valpré)
  • No running water will be provided for hand sanitation. Negotiations are currently underway to make hand sanitation gel available.
  • The supplier of ice is an agent for HQ ICE that confirmed that their water supply has no impact on the Cape Town water grid.
  • Because of the drought, considerable emphasis is placed on fire hazards. Events regulations require the availability of 1 (one) fire extinguisher per 100 m2. The SA Cheese Festival meets this requirement and therefore approval is given by the Disaster management team.
  • All exhibitors are requested to, by 1 March 2018, communicate their water needs (if any) to Agri-Expo to allow for adequate time to address their needs or, if not possible, to find alternate exhibitors.
  • At the “Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives” project presented during the SA Cheese Festival the consumer will be informed about Climate Smart Crops or alternative crops.
  • Agri-Expo will dedicate an exhibition area at the SA Cheese Festival that will focus on educational water wise actions.
  • Visitors will be encouraged to bring their own bottled water to the festival.

Agri-Expo as an agricultural society, along with its partners, will present the 2018 SA Cheese Festival without any impact on the already depleted water sources in the Western Cape. We believe that all stakeholders and interest groups will contribute to host a successful event with the necessary responsibility and respect towards the water situation.

The impact of the SA Cheese Festival on the local economy as well as job creation within the Agri-processing industry compel us to continue with this award-winning event with the necessary responsibility.

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No Alcohol will be served to persons under the age of 18.