Cheese enthusiasts peck and purchase at Cheese Festival

Wednesday, 5 May, 2004
Marlene Truter
Adventurous buying behaviour is attributed to the public being more informed about cheese
A staggering 24 000 visitors pecked and purchased their way through 15 000 kg of cheese during the 2004 SA Cheese Festival at Bien Donné on April 24th to 27th. More than 100 exhibitors countrywide seized the opportunity to display a wide selection of cheese and cheese-related products at the fifth Cheese Festival.

'No cheesemaker can afford to miss this festival,' said Jean de Beer, marketing manager of Clover, 'it is the ideal platform to launch new products and to get feedback from the public.'

According to Petrina Visser from Dalewood Fromage, it is unbelievable that the organisers, Agri-Expo, managed to yet again draw so much interest in the festival, 'The festival is even bigger and better than in the past.'

For cheese distributor, Valerie Elder from Get Stuffed Enterprises in Cape Town, it is remarkable how the South African public’s taste has developed for cheese, boutique cheeses in particular, 'We are selling a lot more mould- and soft-cheeses than a few years ago.'

According to Johan Ehlers, general manager of Agri-Expo, a new dimension in cheese consumption has developed in the market. He attributes the public’s adventurous buying behaviour to the fact that they are now more informed about cheese than in the past. Exhibitors mustered their creative skills to make their stands look as attractive as possible for festivalgoers. Woolworths was awarded the prize for the most impressive stand by a sponsor for the third consecutive year. Zandam Cheese won the trophy for the best and most attractive boutique cheese stand.

The prize for the best wine and wine-related products went to Hillbilly Chilli, whilst De Oude Paarl and the SA Holstein Breeders Society received prizes for the best stand in the Gourmet Lane and Milk Factory. The Cape Town branch of the international Slow Food Movement gave recognition to Fairview Cheese, Klein River Cheese, Fynboshoek Cheese, Forest Hill Cheese and Swissland Cheese for their groundbreaking and creative contribution to the local cheese industry.

The Cheese Workshop, one of the new additions to the Cheese Festival, was a resounding success – the filled to capacity sessions was a clear sign of cheese enthusiasts’ interest in the cheesemaking process, demonstrations and the tasting of cheese and related products. According to Kobus Mulder: manager dairy, Agri-Expo, the Cheese Workshop created an effective platform for the dairy industry to inform consumers about the use of dairy products – in particular cheese.

Issued by: Marlene Truter Communications on behalf of Agri-Expo
Contact: Mariana Rabie
Tel: +27 (0) 21 975-4440

Marlene Truter Communications
Contact: Stella Wink
Tel: +27 (0) 21 871-1456