SA Cheese Festival 2017 surpasses expectations


For immediate release 3 May 2017


 The focus on cheese and this diverse dairy product’s culinary companions, together with a festive Cape atmosphere, set the scene for a hugely successful 16th SA Cheese Festival. This according to Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, organisers of this popular event.  Some 30 000 people converged at Sandringham to enjoy 30 tonnes of cheese from boutique and larger commercial cheeseries from across the country.

Select celebrities like Nataniël, Jenny Morris, Amore Bekker and Carmen Niehaus entertained and inspired cheese lovers to new culinary heights.

One of the additions to this year’s programme was the Agri-Expo Cheesery where visitors were able to spend quality time with some of the country’s best cheese makers. According to Mags Baleta from Klein River Cheese outside Stanford this provided cheeseries with the ideal opportunity to share their expertise with consumers and to perform important market research.

Cheese makers put their best foot forward by wooing the consumer with new and innovative cheeses, including those flavoured with coffee, red wine and lavender. Artisan cheese makers taking part for the first time agreed that the broad and simultaneous exposure of their products to such a large group of cheese lovers is indeed invaluable.

Agri-Expo joined forces with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture to enable smaller producers and entrepreneurs to expose the consumer to their unique niche products such as figs, pomegranates, honey, mushrooms and more – all the perfect cheese companions.

Agri-Expo thanks every visitor, exhibitor, partner, supplier and all co-workers who contributed to the success of the 16th SA Cheese Festival.

Don’t wait – plan your visit to the 2018 Cheese Festival from Friday 27 April to Sunday 29 April. Keep an eye on for more information and images of the 2017 event.


SA Cheese Festival – Taste the Alternatives


For immediate release                                                                                                  25-04-2017


SA Cheese Festival – Taste the Alternatives

Foodies the world over agree that cheese harmoniously partners with a great variety of products for an unrivalled and often adventurous gourmet experience. Think cheese and wine for starters, a homely mac and cheese for comfort, and a delectable cheesecake for dessert. The Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives exhibition at the SA Cheese Festival showcases various products, which take hands with cheese to create satisfying culinary encounters.

The Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives exhibition is a joint venture by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Agri-Expo, the organisers of the SA Cheese Festival which celebrates 16 years of cheese from 28-30 April. “We are excited about the convergence of two major agricultural role-players, working towards the same goal of promoting the image of agriculture and enticing the consumer with a variety of locally produced agricultural products,” says Johan Ehlers, Agri-Expo CEO. “Agri-Expo serves to initiate and facilitate opportunities for the promotion of agriculture and the continuously popular SA Cheese Festival presents the ideal platform for a unified celebration of the dairy industry.”

“It is indeed an honour to unite under the cheese banner,” says Joyene Isaacs, Head of the Western Cape Department of Agriculture. “This initiative provides the Western Cape Government with the opportunity to enact its responsibility of assisting producers of primary and processed agricultural products in their quest to gain exposure.

Recipe booklet will inspire

The Cape Made Kitchen further adds value to the experience of visitors to the SA Cheese Festival, when chefs of The Private Hotel School demonstrates specially developed recipes in which cheese ranks high on the ingredient list. Cheese is paired with such products as duck, honey, rooibos tea, pomegranates, nuts, vanilla, mushrooms, olives and olive oil. These recipes have been brought together in an inspirational, yet easy-to-use recipe booklet which is the result of a collaborative agreement between the WCDoA, the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO), The Private Hotel School and Agri-Expo and will be distributed at the Festival. “Representing the milk producers in the country, we believe, along with Clifton Fadiman, that cheese is milk’s leap toward immortality,” says Dr Chris van Dijk, MPO CEO. “We should never develop a comfort zone with cheese. Let your culinary boundaries concerning the use and enjoyment of cheese and other dairy products be continuously challenged. This book will support consumers in doing just that!”

According to Susina Jooste, director of The Private Hotel School, cheese is one of the most versatile ingredients to cook or bake with. “Cheese can as easily transform into a sweet treat as the more traditional savoury options. While good quality cheese on its own is most enjoyable, it provides chefs and home cooks with a myriad of options for improvisation.”

Tickets for the 16th SA Cheese Festival are available at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers at R160 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R100 and children 13 years and younger enter free of charge. No tickets will be sold at the gates. Festival times: 10:00 – 18:00. Sandringham is conveniently located next to the N1, Stellenbosch turn-off (exit 39), between Cape Town and Paarl.

Visit, contact us on tel 021-975 4440 or email for more information.  For competition details and programme highlights, follow us on Facebook (pages/Cheese-Festival), Twitter (@SACheeseFest) and Instagram (sacheesefest).


Issued by:         Agri-Expo

tel 021 975 4440

Enquiries:         Yolandi de Wet

tel 082 772 7519

SA Cheese Festival Media Release


For Immediate Release

 11 April 2017

SA CHEESE FESTIVAL: sweet 16 and better than ever!

South Africans are happiest when they can combine good food (and especially a smorgasbord of locally produced cheese) with time spent with family and friends, and the 16th SA Cheese Festival offers exactly that. For three glorious autumn days (Friday 28 April – Sunday 30 April) cheese lovers will once again converge at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch for their annual rendezvous with all things cheese.

Cheese and more

As always, cheese remains the main focus of this popular festival. Cheese makers from all over the country bring their very best for visitors to taste and stock up on. Be sure to taste the artisan products of first-time exhibitors such as Chechil SA from Bloemfontein, Bettie Bok (West Coast), Milkwood (George) and many more.

Naturally one also needs such foodie goodies as selected wine or beer, freshly baked bread, meaty treats, sweet delights and of course great recipe ideas to perfect the feast.

Shopper’s heaven: buy the widest variety of cheese in the Checkers Cheese Emporium, while the Checkers Food Market, a mini store, will further fill your basket. For lunch you’ll be spoilt for choice in the Gourmet Lane. Be on the lookout for Exclusive Friday Specials (28 April) and new product launches throughout the festival.

What’s new: Allow celebrity chefs Nataniël (brought to you by Checkers), Carmen Niehaus, Errieda du Toit, Haidee Muller, Amore Bekker and others to entertain you with their food know-how in the new Agri-Expo Cooking Pot. Be entertained by cheese experts in the new Agri-Expo Cheesery and get an exclusive opportunity to meet some of the best cheese makers in South Africa from Kleinrivier Cheese, La Montanara, Fairview, Udderley Delicious and Taaibosch Cheese. Stand a chance to own a brand new bakkie – your entry ticket makes you eligible for the Win a Chevrolet UTE Force Bakkie competition sponsored by REEDS (t&c’s apply).

Learn from the best: the chefs of The Private Hotel School will demonstrate a range of specially developed recipe ideas using cheese and alternative niche products such as pomegranates, figs and persimmons in the Cape Made Kitchen (supported by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture). Do not miss the extensive programme taking place in the Standard Bank Tasting Room, including infused wine and cheese tasting sessions by Stellenbosch Vineyards, cheese and wine pairings by Carmién Tea, a discovery of goats milk cheese with chef Pete-Goffe Wood, and a cheese and beer experience with master brewers Tim Godfrey and Stephan Lotz.

Pure entertainment: live music by the ever-popular Kurt Darren (Friday 16:00 – 18:00) and BlackByrd (Sunday 16:00 – 18:00) will set your feet tapping. Hours of safe fun awaits the little ones in the Kiddies Corner and teenagers in the Teenzone. Test your creativity with the carving knife and create a masterpiece from cheese at the Ladismith Cheese Carving competition.


Cheese aficionados, who crave a more intimate tryst with cheese and its makers, will do well to book for the unique Connoisseurs Experience for which only 100 daily tickets are available. This VIP ticket will elevate your experience and entitle you to such delights as an exclusive cooking demo with Nataniël, a special mozzarella and feta making demo with Leon the Milkman, a meet & greet opportunity with cheese makers, and a host of complimentary tastings and goodies. Also, enter an hour early via the VIP entrance, and make use of the VIP parking. Make sure you sidestep the happy crowds and enjoy cheese at your leisure. More info on

Tickets are available at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers at R160 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R100 and children 13 years and younger enter free of charge. No tickets will be sold at the gates. Festival times: 10:00 – 18:00. Sandringham is conveniently located next to the N1, Stellenbosch turn-off (exit 39), between Cape Town and Paarl.

Visit, contact us on tel 021-975 4440 or email for more information. For competition details and programme highlights, follow us on Facebook (pages/Cheese-Festival), Twitter (@SACheeseFest) and Instagram (sacheesefest).


Issued by:            Agri-Expo, tel 021 975 4440

Enquiries:            Yolandi de Wet, tel 082 772 7519,

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