19 YEAR CELEBRATION | www.cheesefestival.co.za

ESCAPE TO THE SA CHEESE FEST OVER THE FREEDOM DAY LONG WEEKEND!

The 19th anniversary of the popular South African Cheese Festival offers the perfect long weekend escape in 2020! Festivalgoers can look forward to a truly unique experience of cheese and more over the Freedom Day long weekend, from Saturday 25 April to Monday 27 April 2020, at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch.

Come and experience why this award-winning festival deserves its most recent accolade as one of Die Burger Readers’ Choice Top 3 Festivals. Discover the widest variety of local, international and artisanal cheeses, explore the brand-new #Winefest, #Foodfest, #Beerfest and #Ginoclock, and meet the makers of the finest niche products in the Cheese Emporium and the Cape Made Mall.

The SA Cheese Festival programme also includes tasting experiences in the Standard Bank Tasting Room, outdoor music concerts by Spoegwolf and other popular artists, and fun activities such as the Ladismith Cheese Carving Competition and the Laughing Cow Kiddies Corner. The festival times are from 10:00 to 18:00 daily. Sandringham is conveniently located next to the N1, Stellenbosch turn-off (exit 39), between Cape Town and Paarl.

Tickets cost R240 per person per day, with an early bird offer of R200 until 31 January 2020. A #FestivalFriends group ticket for 4 people costs R860 – a saving of R100! Senior citizens pay R200 and children (two to 13 years) R20. Tickets are available at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers. No tickets will be sold at the gates.

Escape to the 2020 SA Cheese Festival – for more information, visit www.cheesefestival.co.za, Twitter @SACheeseFest, Facebook @SACheeseFestival, Instagram @sacheesefest, or contact Agri-Expo at tel 021 975 4440 or admin@agriexpo.co.za.

The 18th SA Cheese Festival an ever-innovative success

Celebrity chef and food blogger Ilse van der Merwe (The Food Fox) got a taste of the SA Cheese Festival from Melanie Engelbrecht of Beemster Cheese, Fridene Izaks of Food Lover’s Market, Jason Sandell of Las Paletas Artisanal Lollies, WA Hugo of Bettie Bok and Sasha Kassie of Puglia Cheese!

The 18th South African Cheese Festival from 26 to 28 April 2019 was a huge success according to the organisers, exhibitors and visitors. Everyone agrees: This was the best festival ever. Indeed, it is not every day that the Dairy Product of the Year and the Gin of the Year visit together at one festival!

Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, says the SA Cheese Festival is established as South Africa’s most popular outdoor food experience. This celebration of cheese and related products is offered by Agri-Expo since 2002 and presented at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch for the past nine years. “This year’s festival was an ideal gathering of innovative products, good organisation and a great atmosphere.”

According to Ehlers, a highlight was the high standard of products – of which the SA Dairy Product of the Year and the Gin of the Year for 2019 testify. Belnori Boutique Cheesery’s St Francis of Ashisi (a 50/50 goat’s and cow’s milk cheese) and Deep South Distillery’s Cape Dry Gin could be tasted during two Tasting Room sessions. “This gin won a gold medal at the London Spirits Competition on Tuesday 30 April 2019, and was also awarded Gin of the Year 2019 out of more than 300 entries.”

Ehlers says the festival, with a capacity of 10,000 people a day, was sold out the earliest ever for the Saturday. “Agri-Expo, along with the exhibitors, is delighted with the tremendous buying power at this year’s festival. We attribute this to the quality and affordability of the products.”

The great variety of exhibitors is, according to Ehlers, an important reason for the growing success of the festival. “We had a record number of more than 170 exhibitors this year. In addition, about a third of them were new participants.”

New festival experiences: From buffalo mozzarella to boutique gin and insect ice cream

Annually, commercial and artisanal cheeseries from all over the country as well as from abroad bring more than 20 tonnes of cheese to the SA Cheese Festival. This year, one of the highlights for festival goers was the increased participation of international cheeses, especially from Italy and the Netherlands, with which local products could be compared. A brand-new addition to the Cheese Emporium was the Food Lover’s Piazza with everything Italian – offering Italian cheeses, olives, Provolone, Prosciutto di Parma, pasta and pesto, as well as Italian hospitality in abundance.

Ehlers says exhibitions of artisanal cheesemakers, from across the country, are unique to the SA Cheese Festival. “A number of small cheesemakers have again been invited to showcase their unique handmade products as part of our #Support #SmallCheeseMakers project in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Absa.”
One of these participants was Ciao Ciao, a brand-new cheesemaker that opened only ten days before the festival. According to co-owner Maurizio Odiema, their buffalo mozzarella and fior di latte sold very well. “We have already received interest from a well-known retailer as well as assistance with the application for an export permit.”

Another novelty was the dedicated Craft Canopy exhibition area with a wide variety of wines, beers, sparkling wines and boutique gins – available at the festival for the first time.

The Tasting Room was a great favourite among visitors. Well-known chefs such as Pete Goffe-Wood, The Food Fox Ilse van der Merwe, Lapo Magni and The Kate Tin Katelyn Allegra offered six pairing demonstrations daily. Visitors could enjoy cheese with wines such as SA’s top Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc, beer and even chocolate, as well as experience what makes Prosecco different to Champagne.

Visitors could test and buy innovative creations of some 50 exhibitors’ niche and alternative products as part of the Cape Made Taste the Alternatives project this year, thanks to a partnership with the WCDoA. Interesting innovations included abalone pie, kombucha vinegar, free-range chicken biltong, pickled periwinkle, rooibos vodka and insect ice cream made from EntoMilk™! More than 30 recipes combining cheese, bread and alternative products were specially developed for cooking demonstrations offered daily in the Cape Made Kitchen. Visitors who attended these sessions each received an exclusive recipe book as a gift. Interested parties can download the recipe book from the SA Cheese Festival website.

An exhibition masterpiece

The SA Cheese Festival was awarded several times as the ‘Best Consumer Exhibition in Africa’ (larger than 12 000m²) by AAXO (Association for African Exhibition Organisers), as well as the Cape Winelands ‘Festival of the Year’ in 2018.

Ehlers says it is a privilege for Agri-Expo to be honoured by the exhibition as well as the tourism industries. “This year, we were also overwhelmed with positive feedback from many visitors, exhibitors and partners about new festival experiences created, the grounds layout and the atmosphere,” says Ehlers.

First-time festival-goer Theo Kleinhans of the Helderberg summarized many festival-goers’ experiences with his comment: “It is one of the best organised festivals we have ever attended. From arrival to parking and security was excellent. The stalls were neat and there was enough seating.”

Exhibitors awarded

The organisers awarded the best exhibitions in six categories – including a new exhibitor, Diesel & Dust Craft Beer. The winners were Ladismith Cheese (Commercial Cheese); Kasselshoop Cheese (Boutique Cheese); Diesel & Dust Craft Beer (Alcoholic Products); Las Paletas Artisan Lollies (Related Products); Busy Bee Apiaries (Alternative Products); Piroschka’s Flammkuchen (Gourmet Lane); and Western and Southern Cape Angus Club (Milk Factory/Animal Lane).

Ehlers praised all the exhibitors for their innovative products, festival discounts and personal interaction with visitors.

The 19th SA Cheese Festival will take place from Saturday 25 April to Monday 27 April 2020 at Sandringham Estate outside Stellenbosch. Visit www.cheesefestival.co.za for more information, follow the SA Cheese Festival on Twitter @SACheeseFest, Facebook @SACheeseFestival or Instagram @sacheesefest, or contact Agri-Expo at tel 021 975 4440 or admin@agriexpo.co.za.

#Support #SmallCheeseMakers at the SA Cheese Festival

Joyene Isaacs (HOD, WCDoA), Gerald van der Merwe (Foxenburg Farm Supervisor), Johan Ehlers (CEO, Agri-Expo), Beverley Schäfer (Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities), Khuselo Mchithakali (Foxenburg Cheesemaker) and John Tshabalala (Absa Managing Executive for the Eastern and Western Cape).

The South African Cheese Festival, presented for the 18th time this year from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2019, annually provides a number of small cheesemakers the opportunity to receive significant exposure for their businesses and products.

“The SA Cheese Festival has been bringing cheese producers and cheese lovers together for almost two decades,” says Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, organisers of the SA Cheese Festival. “This year, with the support of our partners the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Absa, we can once again offer boutique cheese makers the opportunity to introduce their cheeses to more than 30 000 visitors as part of our #Support #SmallCheeseMakers project.”

“We encourage the public to come and support these entrepreneurs who, despite the drought, come from far and wide to introduce their unique handmade cheeses to cheese lovers at the SA Cheese Festival,” Ehlers adds.

This year, visitors can look out for small cheeseries such as Karoo Goat’s Milk (Loxton), Kasselshoop (Stilbaai), Foxenburg Estate (Wellington), Bettie Bok (Lambertsbaai), Forest Hill (Klapmuts), Puglia (Cape Town), Rockvale Cheesery (Bronkhorstspruit), Vredesberg (Kareedouw), La Petit France (Howick) and TlaquePaque (Klein Brakrivier).

Unique platform contributes to economy
Small cheesemakers agree that exposure to such a big group of consumers is worth its weight in gold and in this case, cheese. According to Liesel Kasselman from Kasselshoop the festival plays an enormous role in small cheesemakers’ market research, product development and relationship building with buyers. “The Cheese Festival opened retail doors for us, allowing us to increase our production from 500kg to 10 ton per month,” she says. “Our personnel also grew from seven to 20 members.”

Jan van der Merwe of Vredesberg Cheese, who participated for the first time in 2018, says the marketing opportunities created through their participation was invaluable for a new small business. “The SA Cheese Festival gives us as small cheesemakers the platform to compete on a commercial level and to become part of the economy. We could already double our goat herd with the new demand for products. We are also busy negotiating with a big retail chain to stock our products on their shelves.”

“The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is proud to support these boutique cheesemakers as they form an integral part of the agricultural value chain,” says Joyene Isaacs, Head of the WCDoA. “Although consumers are increasingly enjoying artisanal cheeses, small cheesemakers are facing tremendous challenges on their journey to economic sustainability. The opportunity that the SA Cheese Festival creates in relation to market access, is indeed commendable.”

Absa’s involvement in the SA Cheese Festival makes absolute business sense, according to John Tshabalala, Absa Managing Executive for the Eastern and Western Cape. “The success of the partnership is twofold. Firstly, the project creates exposure for these small cheesemakers’ products, with the potential to give them faster access to shop shelves. Secondly, the communities where these cheesemakers run their businesses simultaneously receive an economic boost as a growing industry creates new job opportunities.”

Date, time and tickets
The SA Cheese Festival will take place from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch. No tickets will be available at the gates. Tickets are available at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers at R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children aged 2 to 13 pay R20.

 

 

Discover Cape Made alternative products at 18th SA Cheese Festival

The SA Cheese Festival, which celebrates its 18th anniversary from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2019, is once again highlighting alternative products that will accompany cheese for exceptional taste experiences. One of the ever-innovative highlights of the festival is the Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives initiative.

It is here that visitors to the SA Cheese Festival can learn more about niche and alternative products such as pomegranates, chillies, abalone pie and insect ice cream. In the Cape Made Mall, about 50 exhibitors offer their unique products directly to the public to taste and buy, thanks to a partnership between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Agri-Expo, the organisers of the SA Cheese Festival.

“It is important that agricultural role-players unite in these challenging times and therefore we are grateful for the partnership between two anchor partners working side by side to promote agriculture,” says Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo.

“This partnership provides the Western Cape Government with a valuable platform to fulfil its responsibility to provide exposure to producers of both primary and processed agricultural products,” says Joyene Isaacs, Head of the WCDoA. “The real good news about alternative crops is how it fits in with the essential adjustments to production patterns in addressing climate change.”

Kitchen and recipe book will inspire

An exciting addition to the Cape Made Mall is the Cape Made Kitchen where chefs of The Private Hotel School (PHS) daily demonstrate specially developed recipes during three free sessions, pairing cheese with bread and alternative products such as berries, persimmons and figs. Click here for the programme.

More than 30 recipes are included in the exclusive Cape Made recipe book illustrating the versatility of these exceptional products, as well as how they complement dairy and more specifically cheese. Visitors to the Cape Made Kitchen will receive this recipe book as a gift thanks to a partnership between the WCDoA, Hortgro, the Milk Producers Organisation (MPO), PHS, Grain SA and Agri-Expo.

Anton Rabe, Executive Director of Hortgro, says alternative crops are an important focus area: “Continued investment by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the alternative and traditional fruit crops within the Hortgro umbrella, is essential for continued job creation, food security, stable and vibrant rural areas, economic development, and land reform, as well as exports and the resultant foreign exchange earnings.”

Taste it here!

Some of the interesting products to taste and buy include: Sauceress Sauces’ brand new “Wicked Garlic Dip” with a splash of brandy; Gourmet Grubb’s insect ice cream made from EntoMilk™; Supersprout’s organic seed-in-a-slab; Blinkwaters Cooperative’s abalone pie, pickled seafood and ginger beer; as well as kefir water, kombucha vinegar, Turkish coffee, rooibos vodka, kudu salami, buchu limoncello and gin, free-range chicken biltong, and beeswax and hemp skin products.

Date, time and ticket details

The SA Cheese Festival takes place from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham Estate outside Stellenbosch. Tickets are available at any Computicket outlet, Shoprite or Checkers store at R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children between 2 years and 13 years pay R20 per person per day. No tickets will be sold at the gates. The festival times are from 10:00 to 18:00 daily. Sandringham Estate is conveniently located next to the N1, Stellenbosch turn-off (exit 39), between Cape Town and Paarl.

SA Cheese Festival celebrates 18 years of cheese and more!

The South African Cheese Festival celebrates its 18th anniversary this year with a feast of 18-experiences-in-one from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2019.

This “Festival of the Year” as awarded in 2018 promises a taste experience of popular local and international cheese, alternative and gourmet products, as well as select wines, craft beer and gin. New this year is a piazza with everything Italian and “Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” Friday for those who want to experience the festival at a slower pace.

“The SA Cheese Festival has grown into South Africa’s most popular outdoor food experience,” says Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, who has hosted the festival since 2002. “It offers an unparalleled value for money platform for visitors to taste, buy and enjoy cheese and complementary products from about 150 exhibitors, and especially to test entrepreneurs’ innovative creations – from insect ice cream to abalone pie!”

Tonnes of cheese – from Naples to Kareedouw
In the Cheese Emporium, festival goers can taste and buy the widest variety of cheese – old favourites and new ones – under one roof. Here, a brand-new Italian Piazza with Mozzarella, olives, Provolone, Prosciutto di Parma, pasta, pesto and Italian hospitality awaits.

“Unique to the SA Cheese Festival are exhibitions by artisanal cheesemakers from far and wide,” says Ehlers. “We annually offer an opportunity to a number of small cheese makers to introduce their unique handmade products to up to 30 000 visitors as part of our #Support #SmallCheeseMakers project in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Absa.”

Room for learning from experts
Food lovers who like adventurous pairing experiences will enjoy a feast of six daily demonstrations in the Tasting Room, at no extra cost. Well-known foodies such as The Food Alchemist Pete Goffe-Wood, The Kate Tin Katelyn Allegra, The Food Fox Ilse van der Merwe and the Italian La Terra dei Cuochi winner Lapo Magni will share their pairing secrets – combining cheese with wine, beer and other complementary products. Come discover the story behind Afrikoa chocolate from Tanzania and what makes Prosecco different to Champagne.

According to Ehlers, visitors can also look forward to “Are you a ‘BOK’ for cheese?” with the Bok Radio Breakfast duo Wimpie and Le-Lue featuring SA’s 2019 Dairy Product of the Year – the 50/50 goat’s and cow’s milk cheese St Francis of Ashisi of Belnori Boutique Cheesery. Also on the programme are SA’s Top Ten Chenin Blanc in collaboration with Standard Bank; and cheese-and-wine tastings by Fairview’s chief winemaker Anthony de Jager (Friday and Sunday) and owner Charles Back (Saturday).

“Last year, the Tasting Room sessions were extremely popular and festival goers should arrive early to ensure a seat,” Ehlers recommends.

Discover alternative products
In the ‘Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives’ Mall, there is a selection of niche and alternative products such as pomegranates, chillies and periwinkle to choose from plus bargains directly from entrepreneurs thanks to a partnership with the WCDoA. In the ‘Cape Made Kitchen’, visitors can experience a taste of magic, at no extra cost, during three daily demonstrations where chefs of the Private Hotel School demonstrate specially developed recipes pairing cheese with bread and alternative products. Visitors also receive an exclusive recipe book as gift.

Cheese carving and live music
Big and small can win fantastic prizes (and of course delicious cheese!) in the Ladismith Cheese Carving Competition for which visitors can enter daily before 13:00 at Blossom’s Gazebo. Entries are free, but space is limited. And at the Music Gazebo, festival goers can enjoy performances by artists such as ShenFM, Absolutely Fabulous, Sincere Swing, The Grey, Under Cover and SHIM SHAM Band.

Boutique is king
According to Ehlers, the SA Cheese Festival offers the ideal platform to support boutique manufacturers. “Stalls with a select collection of wines are situated just outside the Cheese Emporium – a move from inside that was received overwhelmingly positive by festival goers last year,” says Ehlers. “Our focus is on discovering new tastes – from wine and craft beer to gin with honey, almond, buchu, strawberry or chai. We promote responsible use of alcohol and recommend that festival goers make use of shuttle services and taxis. ”

“Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” Friday
Friday 26 April is the first day of the festival and therefore the ideal day to experience the festival at a slower pace before the weekend gets busy. Watch out for “Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” packages on Friday 26 April – perfect for groups such as book/garden/crochet/coffee/bowls/lift clubs. Buy three adult or three senior citizen tickets and a fourth friend can attend the festival free of charge.

Get tickets before they sell out
The SA Cheese Festival will take place from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch. No tickets will be available at the gates. Tickets are available at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers at R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children aged 2 to 13 pay R20. An exclusive Connoisseurs’ Experience is available (at R950 per person, over 18 years only) for only 100 guests per day, with reserved seating, VIP parking, early access, a Président Cheese curated cheese board, a bottle of Linton Park wine and more.

Contact Agri-Expo at 021-975 4440 or email for more information. For programme highlights, follow the SA Cheese Festival on social media.

Discover 18 experiences at the 18th SA Cheese Festival

The 18th South African Cheese Festival, from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham Estate outside Stellenbosch, offers a true value for money experience – your ticket indeed buys you 18 of them:

  1. The Cheese Emporium: The heart of the SA Cheese Festival where you can taste and buy the largest variety of cheeses – old favourites and innovative new ones – under one roof. Watch our Cheese Emporium video!

  2. The Italian Experience: A brand new addition specially created in collaboration with Food Lover’s Market. Come stroll through our piazza and experience Italian hospitality and gastronomy in abundance – from Mozzarella and olives to Provolone, Prosciutto di Parma, pasta, pesto and more!
  3. Taste it first: Many exhibitors utilise the SA Cheese Festival as a platform to launch new products and test the market – discover it here before it appears on store shelves.
  4. The Tasting Room: We marry cheese with wine, beer and every new trend. Come watch, listen and taste at no extra cost … and experience interesting taste combinations presented by well-known foodies such as The Kate Tin (Katelyn Allegra) and The Food Fox (Ilse van der Merwe), as well as the popular ‘Bok Radio’ breakfast duo Wimpie and Le-Lue.
  5. ‘Raak ‘n bietjie rustig’ day: Friday, 26 April, a working day? Never! It’s pay day after all – perfect for a leisurely day out with your entire book/garden/crochet/coffee/bowls/lift club! Watch out for ‘Raak ‘n bietjie rustig’ packages for groups and discover the festival at your own pace.
  6. Meet boutique cheese makers: Come and support entrepreneurs who, despite the drought, come from far and wide to introduce their unique handmade cheeses to artisan cheese lovers!
  7. Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives: A fresh from the farm collection of alternative products such as olives, honey and rooibos to pick and choose from … with bargains directly from producers, thanks to a partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. Watch our Cape Made video!
  8. The Cape Made Kitchen: Come and experience a taste of magic as chefs from the Private Hotel School pair cheese with bread and alternative products, brought to you in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Hortgro, the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO), Grain SA and Agri-Expo. As a bonus, there is a free recipe book to take home!
  9. Making memories: It just gets better year after year! The SA Cheese Festival is a popular place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries (or to meet your better half à la celebrity chef Bertus Basson!)
  10. Boutique is king: Support boutique producers while discovering and appreciating new taste experiences – from wine and beer to gin with honey, almond, buchu, strawberry or chai!
  11. The Ladismith Cheese Carving Competition: A daily highlight in Blossom’s Gazebo – enter for free at the festival (entries are limited). Prove your creativity, carve a cheese and win great prizes! Watch our video!

  12. The Music Gazebo: Kick up your heels and enjoy your shopping to the rhythm of popular local artists while you relax with family and friends.
  13. The Milk Factory: Visit the friendly cows and goats at the Milk Factory and show the little ones where the cheese comes from.
  14. The Gourmet Lane: Popular food stalls serve delicious dishes – with even more cheese!
  15. The Kiddies Corner: Hours of fun and entertainment for the children in a safe environment while parents relax.
  16. #SundayFamilyFunDay: Enjoy a true #SundayFunday with your whole family whilst some of the country’s best cheeses and other boutique products are just a few steps away.
  17. The Connoisseurs’ Experience: There are only 100 tickets available per day for this exclusive festival experience with shaded seating, a Président Cheese curated cheeseboard, a bottle of Linton Park wine and many extras. Hurry up, last year’s gourmets are all coming back for more!
  18. Be safe: The SA Cheese Festival promotes the responsible use of alcohol. Make use of shuttle services and taxis for peace of mind.

The festival times are daily from 10:00 to 18:00. Sandringham Estate is conveniently located next to the N1, Stellenbosch turn-off (exit 39), between Cape Town and Paarl.

Tickets cost R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children between 2 and 13 years R20. Tickets are available at Computicket. No tickets will be sold at the gates. The Connoisseurs’ Experience costs R950 per person (only persons over 18 years old) and is available from Claudine Wagner.

Discover more about the SA Cheese Festival’s 18-year celebration on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or contact Agri-Expo at tel 021 975 4440 or e-mail us.

 

CELEBRATE SA CHEESE FESTIVAL’S 18TH YEAR IN 2019!

The popular South African Cheese Festival celebrates a huge milestone in 2019 – its 18th anniversary! Festivalgoers can look forward to a truly unique experience of cheese and more during the three-day festival from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch.

Come and experience why this award-winning festival deserves its most recent accolade as the Cape Winelands’ “Festival of the Year”! Discover the widest variety of local and international cheeses, explore exciting taste combinations, browse and buy the finest niche produce, and enjoy a relaxing day out with family and friends.

The festival programme includes food theatres with tastings and presentations, live music, as well as fun activities such as the daily Ladismith Cheese carving competition. The festival times are from 10:00 to 18:00 daily. Sandringham is conveniently located next to the N1, Stellenbosch turn-off (exit 39), between Cape Town and Paarl.

Tickets cost R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children from 2 to 13 years R20. Tickets are available from Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers. No tickets will be sold at the gates. Cheese lovers who prefer a more exclusive experience can book for the Connoisseurs’ Experience for which only a limited number of tickets are available. This special package is available at R950 per person per day (only 18 years and above) from Claudine Wagner at claudine@agriexpo.co.za.

To unwrap a feast of experiences at the SA Cheese Festival’s 18 year celebration, follow us on Twitter @SACheeseFest, Facebook @SACheeseFestival, Instagram @sacheesefest, or contact Agri-Expo at tel 021 975 4440 or admin@agriexpo.co.za.

SA Cheese Festival crowned Festival of the Year

Mr Henry Prins (CWDM Municipal Manager); Alderman (Dr) Helena von Schlicht (CWDM Executive Mayor); Mr Johan Ehlers (Agri-Expo Chief Executive Officer), Ms Isabeau Botha (Agri-Expo Corporate Communication Manager), Councillor Kobus du Plessis (CWDM Portfolio: Local Economic Development); Mr Rhian van Wyk (CWDM Deputy Director: Local Economic Development)

The South African Cheese Festival, presented in April 2018 for the 17th time, was honoured on World Tourism Day as the Festival of the Year. World Tourism Day is commemorated annually on 27 September and, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), creates awareness of tourism’s real and potential contribution to sustainable development.

The Festival of the Year Award was made by the Cape Winelands District Municipality’s Executive Mayor, Alderman (Dr) Helena von Schlicht, as part of the sixth annual Mayoral Tourism Awards at a gala function at Simonsvlei outside Paarl. These awards celebrate the achievements of role players in the Cape Winelands tourism industry.

The executive mayor highlighted the SA Cheese Festival in her speech as a world-famous highlight for visitors to the Cape Winelands. According to a statement, the awards emphasize the value of tourism in contributing to the local economy as well as to positive international relations. For every eight tourists staying in the district, one new permanent job opportunity is created.

According to Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, the SA Cheese Festival has grown since 2002 to become one of the largest culinary outdoor gatherings in Africa. This world-class event attracts up to 30 000 visitors over three days, of which more than 40% come from outside the Western Cape. The festival is regarded as an excellent platform for businesses to launch new products and to bring their brands to the attention of both consumers and retailers, including many small cheesemakers who have achieved great success thanks to their participation in the festival.

“It is a special privilege for Agri-Expo to be honoured by the regional authorities for the SA Cheese Festival’s contribution to tourism,” says Ehlers. “The festival is a unique culinary experience of cheese and its many companions, with more than 160 exhibitors displaying their products and creating awareness about the versatility of the variety of SA’s cheese and related products. It is, however, so much more than just a festival – it includes innovation, job creation, entrepreneurship, product development and, of course, consumer awareness,” adds Ehlers. “It is especially encouraging that, through the festival, we have a direct economic impact by boosting job creation in the immediate vicinity, as well as kick-starting small businesses and other entrepreneurs’ product marketing.”

Other successes include media exposure of more than R40 million generated annually, the fact that it is a water-wise festival with no impact on the water grid, and the establishment of successful long-term partnerships between role players in the agricultural and tourism industry, both government and private sector.

“Tourism is everyone’s business, including agriculture, especially in the winelands where farms form the backbone of wine tourism – both for creating visitor experiences as well as job opportunities,” says Ehlers. “Agriculture offers many opportunities for marketing tourism in the Western Cape. Consumers today are more adventurous and therefore we must expose them to the full value chain – from the animal in the field to the cheese on their plate. The challenge of innovation means we need to work together to continuously offer honest and unforgettable experiences that exceed visitors’ expectations.”

According to Ehlers, they are looking forward to further developing these partnerships in view of the 30th Commonwealth International Agricultural Conference, which will be hosted by Agri-Expo in the Cape in 2022.

The SA Cheese Festival has been awarded several times, including the best Consumer Exhibition in Africa (larger than 12 000m²) by AAXO (Association for African Exhibition Organisers). The 18th SA Cheese Festival takes place from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April 2019 at Sandringham Estate outside Stellenbosch. Tickets are available at Computicket from 1 December. For more, visit www.sacheesefestival.co.za.

17th SA Cheese Festival a successful combination of visitors, exhibitors and products

The 17th South African Cheese Festival over the long weekend was a huge success with almost 30 000 people attending the popular celebration of cheese and this diverse dairy product’s culinary companions. Boutique and commercial cheeseries from across the country annually bring more than 20 tonnes of cheese to the festival. According to Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, organisers of the festival, Agri-Expo and the exhibitors were both surprised by the strong buying power at this year’s festival, especially with economic challenges facing the consumer.

The three food theatres at the festival were a big hit with visitors. No less than 40 demonstrations were presented by culinary specialists, including the celebrity chefs Jenny Morris, Kamini Pather, Pete Goffe-Wood, Carmen Niehaus and Katelyn Allegra. The demonstrations included cheese pairings with complementary products such as SA’s top ten Chenin Blanc wines, craft beer, tea, chocolate, dried fruit and nuts.

Award-winning festival still innovates after 17 years

The first #YourWheyWithCheese Cook-off for amateur chefs, in partnership with Heart FM, was won by Liesl Armstrong from Durbanville (left), home loans consultant at Betterbond. Armstrong says she entered the challenge because “being a cancer survivor taught me to grab every opportunity with open arms”. As a home cook she always wanted to attend a chef course, a dream came true thanks to the SA Cheese Festival. Armstrong’s prizes include a Jenny Morris CooksPlayground course, a Leon the Milkman cheese making workshop and Taurus kitchen equipment.

Several new boutiques cheeseries, including Vredesberg, an empowerment project from Kareedouw, exhibited for the first time thanks to the support of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Absa. Agri-Expo also joined forces with the WCDoA for the Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives project to enable smaller producers and entrepreneurs to showcase their alternative niche products such as pomegranates, honey, mushrooms and more – all the perfect cheese companions.

Another new addition was a dedicated #waterwise exhibition area. In response to Wesgro’s call to keep the Western Cape economy growing during the current drought, the organisers decided to continue with the 2018 SA Cheese Festival as a contribution to water saving campaigns. Water-wise recipes were specially developed for cooking demonstrations at the festival. The recipes are included in a free recipe book as part of the Cape Made project.

Ehlers, on behalf of Agri-Expo, thanks every visitor, exhibitor, partner and supplier who contributed to the success of the 17th SA Cheese Festival, and especially for their support of the water saving initiatives at the festival.

The 18th SA Cheese Festival takes place from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham Estate outside Stellenbosch. Visit www.cheesefestival.co.za for photos of the 2018 festival, and to download the Cape Made recipe book.

Besoekers, uitstallers en produkte sorg saam vir suksesvolle 17de SA Kaasfees

 Die 17de Suid-Afrikaanse Kaasfees die afgelope langnaweek was ‘n reusesukses met byna 30 000 mense wat hierdie gewilde viering van kaas en dié diverse suiwelproduk se kulinêre pasmaats bygewoon het. Boetiek- en kommersiële kaasmakerye van regoor die land bring jaarliks meer as 20 ton kaas na die fees. Volgens Johan Ehlers, Hoof Uitvoerende Beampte van Agri-Expo, organiseerders van die fees, was Agri-Expo vanjaar saam met die uitstallers verras oor die sterk koopkrag by die fees, veral ten spyte van die ekonomiese uitdagings vir die verbruiker. Agri-Expo skryf dit toe aan die gehalte van die produkte by vanjaar se fees.

Die drie kosteaters by die fees was ‘n groot gunsteling onder besoekers. Nie minder nie as 40 kookdemonstrasies is deur kulinêre kenners, insluitend die glanssjefs Jenny Morris, Kamini Pather, Pete Goffe-Wood, Carmen Niehaus en Katelyn Allegra, aangebied. Die demonstrasies het kaaspasmaats, insluitende SA se top-tien-Chenin Blanc-wyne, boetiekbier, tee en nisprodukte soos sjokolade, droëvrugte en neute, ingesluit.

Bekroonde fees bly vernuwend ná 17 jaar

Die eerste #YourWheyWithCheese-kookuitdaging vir amateursjefs, in vennootskap met Heart FM, is gewen deur Liesl Armstrong van Durbanville, ‘n huisleningskonsultant by Betterbond. Volgens Armstrong het sy ingeskryf omdat sy as kankeroorwinnaar geleer het om elke geleentheid met ope arms aan te gryp. As “huiskok” wou sy nog altyd “bitter graag ‘n sjefkursus bywoon om die fyner kunsies te bemeester”, ‘n droom wat waar geword het deur die SA Kaasfees. Amstrong se pryse sluit ‘n Jenny Morris-kookkursus, ‘n Leon the Milkman-kaasmaakwerkswinkel en Taurus-kombuistoerusting in.

Verskeie nuwelingboetiekkaasmakerye, waaronder Vredesberg, ‘n bemagtigingsprojek van Kareedouw, het vir die eerste keer aan die fees deelneem danksy die ondersteuning van die Wes-Kaapse Departement van Landbou (WKDL) en Absa. Agri-Expo en die WKDL se gesamentlike “Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives”-projek het ook aan kleiner produsente en entrepreneurs wat alternatiewe gewasse bevorder ‘n geleentheid gebied om hul unieke produkte ten toon te stel.

Nog ‘n nuwe toevoeging was ‘n toegewyde #waterwys-uitstalarea. Die organiseerders het in reaksie op Wesgro se oproep om die ekonomie te ondersteun tydens die droogte in die Wes-Kaap besluit om voort te gaan met die 2018 SA Kaasfees om ‘n bydrae te lewer tot waterbesparingsveldtogte. Vanjaar is waterwysresepte spesiaal ontwikkel vir kookdemonstrasies by die fees. Die resepte is ingesluit in ‘n gratis resepteboek as deel van die Cape Made-projek.

Ehlers bedank namens Agri-Expo elke besoeker, uitstaller, vennoot en verskaffer wat bygedra het om die 17de SA Kaasfees ‘n sukses te maak en veral vir hul ondersteuning van die waterbesparende aksies by die fees.

Die 18de SA Kaasfees vind plaas van Vrydag 26 April tot Sondag 28 April 2019 by Sandringham-landgoed buite Stellenbosch. Besoek www.cheesefestival.co.za vir foto’s van die 2018-fees, asook om die Cape Made-resepteboek af te laai.

UITGEREIK DEUR/RELEASED BY

Isabeau Botha

Korporatiewe Kommunikasiebestuurder I Corporate Communication Manager
Agri-Expo
isabeau@agriexpo.co.za
021 975 4440 / 072 247 5868
www.agriexpo.co.za

SA Cheese Festival a unique platform for small cheese makers  

Fltr:Willie Zastron (Absa Provincial Head: Business Banking in the Western Cape), Johan Ehlers (Agri-Expo CEO), Liesel Kasselman (Kasselshoop), Alan Winde (Western Cape Minister for Economic Opportunities), Joyene Isaacs (Western Cape Department of Agriculture HOD), Kassie Kasselman (Kasselshoop) and Breyton Milford (Agri-Expo Operations Manager).

The South African Cheese Festival, presented for the 17th time this year from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April 2018, annually affords a number of small cheese makers the opportunity to receive significant exposure for their businesses and products.

“The Cheese Festival has been bringing cheese producers and cheese lovers together for over a decade. This year, with the support of our partners the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Absa, we can once again offer boutique cheese makers the opportunity to introduce their cheeses to more than 30 000 visitors,” says Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, organisers of the SA Cheese Festival.

Improved market access

“Since the first SA Cheese Festival seventeen years ago, Agri-Expo has taken a number of small cheese makers under its wing. Today some of them are established brand names with products awarded as SA Champions or Qualité winners at the SA Dairy Championships,” says Ehlers.

“The Western Cape Department of Agriculture is proud to support these boutique cheese makers as they form an integral part of agriculture’s added value,” says Joyene Isaacs, Head of Department. “Although consumers are increasingly enjoying artisanal cheeses, new small cheese makers are exposed to tremendous challenges on their journey to economic sustainability. The opportunity that the Cheese Festival creates in relation to market access, is indeed commendable.”

Absa’s involvement in the SA Cheese Festival makes absolute business sense, according to their Provincial Head: Business Banking in the Western Cape, Willie Zastron. “The success of the partnership lies not only in exposure for these small cheese makers’ products. The communities where these cheese makers run their businesses simultaneously receive an economic boost as a growing industry creates new job opportunities. The exposure for these small cheese makers also has the potential to give them faster access to shop shelves,” Zastron adds.

Boutique cheeseries at the festival

Visitors can look out for small cheeseries such as Langbaken Karoo Cheese (Williston), Taaibosch Cheese (Heidelberg, Southern Cape), Karoo Goat’s Milk (Loxton), Kasselshoop (Stilbaai), Foxenburg Estate (Wellington), Bettie Bok (Lambertsbaai), Noah’s Cheese (Clarens), Rockvale Cheesery (Bronkhorstspruit), Vredesberg (Kareedouw), La Petit France (Howick) and TlaquePaque (Klein Brakrivier).

Small cheese makers agree that exposure to such a big group of consumers is worth its weight in gold. According to Liesel Kasselman from Kasselshoop the festival plays an enormous role to introduce small cheese makers to the public. “We view the Cheese Festival as one of the corner stones of Kasselshoop with regards to market research, product development and relationship building with buyers,” she says. “The Cheese Festival opened retail doors for us, allowing us to increase our production from 500kg to 10 ton per month. Our personnel on the farm grew from seven to 20 members. A big part of our success is due to Agri-Expo and their partners’ vision and support.”

Date, time and ticket details

The SA Cheese Festival takes place from Friday, 27 April to Sunday, 29 April 2018 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch.  Tickets are available at any Computicket outlet, Shoprite or Checkers store at R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children between 2 years and 13 years pay R20 per person per day. No tickets will be sold at the gates. The festival times are from 10:00 to 18:00 daily. Sandringham is conveniently located next to the N1, Stellenbosch turn-off (exit 39), between Cape Town and Paarl.

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