Rina Belcher of Belnori Boutique Cheesery was honoured by Agri-Expo for her consistent and dynamic leadership in the dairy industry at the prestigious Qualité Awards Dinner at Grand West last night. Belcher is a master at the art of making cheese and her numerous awards and accolades is testimony to this. Under her leadership, Belnori Boutique Cheesery received 11 international and 40 national awards, including the 2016 Qualité award for Belnori’s Benedictus cheese.
Belcher is a founding member of the South African Goat and Sheep Milk Processors’ Organisation and has been the chairperson until recently. She is also the chairperson of the Milk Producers’ Organisation in Gauteng and founder member of the Small Stock Dairy Association, an organisation that daily assists new entrants to the industry via social media platforms.
The Agri-Expo Dairy Roll of Honour
The dairy industry is an important pillar of the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society, also known as Agri-Expo, since its inception in 1831. “As an agricultural society, we present the SA Dairy Championships, including the Qualité Awards and the SA Cheese Festival, but we rely on input and guidance from industry leaders to maintain a high standard and continuously adapt to the needs of the industry”, says Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo.
The decision to develop the Agri-Expo roll of honour in 1992 was to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of industry leaders to the Society’s dairy projects. “Only 8 individuals received this award in 25 years, which indicates the extremely high requirements of the nominations.”
Belcher’s passion for the development of dairy products from small stock, her ability to mobilise the industry through structures and organisations and her dedication to and support of the annual SA Dairy Championships, the SA Cheese Festival and other Agri-Expo events and projects makes her more than deserving of this accolade. She is the first women whose name will be added to the list of industry stalwarts on the Agri-Expo Honorary Roll.