Product of the year
SA Championships

Lourens Heyns (Deputy Plant Manager, Parmalat SA Bonnievale Plant), Selwyn Claassen (Production Artisan, Parmalat SA Ladismith Plant),
Johan Ehlers (CEO, Agri-Expo) and Eugene Swarts (GM, Parmalat SA).

Parmalat’s 10-months Mature Gouda, made especially for Woolworths, was crowned the South African Dairy Product of the Year for the second year in a row at the Agri-Expo Qualité Awards Dinner on 23 March 2018 at GrandWest. This achievement is a first for the SA Dairy Championships, celebrating its 185th year of existence.

The Gouda, an aromatic and full-flavoured cheese, was one of 945 dairy products from 83 producers that vied for the attention of the 84 judges ranging from food technologists to cheese retailers, and food bloggers to chefs. From the magnitude of entries, only eighteen were honoured with the Qualité mark of excellence (see list below) and 105 were named SA Champion.

“For a product to be chosen as Dairy Product of the Year in a competition of this nature is a long and difficult journey and the dream of every dairy technologist,” says chief judge and international dairy expert Kobus Mulder. “That the honour befalls this year’s winner of the prestigious title for the second year in a row, is exceptional. Not only is it an extraordinary performance, but also a proof of sustained good manufacturing practices and quality control by the personnel of the manufacturer. Technically and gastronomically the Parmalat 10-months Mature Gouda is as close to perfection as a food product can come.”

“This is the third time in nine years we have won the Product of the Year award for one our cheeses, a clear indication of just how high the quality of our products is and how dedicated and diligent our teams are,” says Cathy Eve, Parmalat SA Marketing Executive. “Parmalat SA thanks Agri-Expo for another fantastic and well-organised event and for upholding such high standards for the dairy industry.”

185 years celebrated with record number of entries

The SA Dairy Championships has been presented with great success by Agri-Expo since 1834. “The Championships has grown to ten categories this year with more than 100 classes for end products in the processing line of the industry,” says Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo. “The increase in entries over the past few years emphasize the importance of this Championships for individuals, small and medium enterprises, as well as national and international companies. This year’s results reflect an innovative industry and healthy competition among larger manufacturers and smaller entrepreneurs, with a total of seven Qualité’s awarded to Parmalat, four to Belnori Boutique Cheesery and a good division between the other winners. In addition, no less than 15 producers are newcomers to this year’s competition.”

Agri-Expo expresses its appreciation to the sponsors of the Qualité Award Dinner, namely Woolworths, CONDIO, MANE, Lakefoods, PHT (Partner for Hygiene and Technology), Octofin, Simonsig, Parmalat, Veritas, MPO (Milk Producers Organisation) and AgriConnect, for their commitment to the development of the SA dairy industry.


 Parmalat SA (7) Woolworths Matured Gouda 10 Months
 Woolworth Vintage Cheddar – White
 Woolworths Matured Gouda 20 Months
 President Matured Gouda 6 Months
 UHT Low Fat Milk
 Medium Fat Yoghurt – Choc Chip
 Medium Fat Yoghurt – Fruited – Strawberry
 Belnori Boutique Cheesery (4) Kabaka
 Highvelder Classic
Baris CheeseVliedermaus – Bloomy Rind with Vegetable Ash
Coega DairyRitebrand UHT Low Fat Milk
Dalewood FromageBoland
Dutch Goat FarmGoat’s Gouda
Fair Cape DairiesFull Cream Yoghurt – Vanilla Flavoured with Chocolate Chips
Ladismith Cheese CompanyRound Gouda
Langbaken Karoo CheeseKaroo Crumble


Download the full results or contact Agri-Expo at +27 (0)21 975 4440 or for more information.

Lovers of all things dairy will be able to taste many of these outstanding products at the SA Cheese Festival held from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April 2018 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch. Visit for more information.