The South African Dairy Championships, the biggest, oldest and most prestigious dairy event in the country, celebrates its 185th year of existence this year. The championships has been hosted since 1834 by Agri-Expo (also known as Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society). Following last year’s addition of a new category for milk and UHT milk, Agri-Expo decided to also add a new category for cream this year. The championships now consists of ten categories and more than 100 classes for end products in the dairy industry.

Any dairy producer with products available in the trade during judging may enter between 4 January and 1 February 2018 on the website Judging takes place on 22 February 2018 and the Qualité Awards Dinner will be held on 23 March 2018 at Grand West in Cape Town.

The winners in each of the classes are crowned as SA Champions at the Qualité Awards Dinner, whilst only products of exceptional quality receive the the Qualité mark. After the first round of judging by more than 70 judges, a panel of five specialists allocate the Product of the Year. In 2017 a total of  854 products were entered by 83 dairy producers, with Parmalat’s 10 months Matured Gouda crowned Product of the Year.

According to Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, the ultimate aim of the championships is to promote excellence in the dairy industry. “We are proud to host the only championships that involves all dairy products in South Africa.  The competition has become the benchmark for producers to measure themselves against each other. The Qualité mark is recognised by the industry as the only mark of quality for dairy products in South Africa”, Ehlers says.

Agri-Expo, a non-profit agricultural society, promotes the image of agriculture through marketing initiatives such as expos, including the South African Cheese Festival and Agri-Expo Livestock. For more information, visit, follow Agri-Expo on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or contact Agri-Expo at 021-975 4440 or [email protected].