SA Cheese Festival Press Release

9 April 2019 – SA Cheese Festival celebrates 18 years of cheese and more!

The South African Cheese Festival celebrates its 18th anniversary this year with a feast of 18-experiences-in-one from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2019.

This “Festival of the Year” as awarded in 2018 promises a taste experience of popular local and international cheese, alternative and gourmet products, as well as select wines, craft beer and gin. New this year is a piazza with everything Italian and “Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” Friday for those who want to experience the festival at a slower pace.

“The SA Cheese Festival has grown into South Africa’s most popular outdoor food experience,” says Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, who has hosted the festival since 2002. “It offers an unparalleled value for money platform for visitors to taste, buy and enjoy cheese and complementary products from about 150 exhibitors, and especially to test entrepreneurs’ innovative creations – from insect ice cream to abalone pie!”

Tonnes of cheese – from Naples to Kareedouw

In the Cheese Emporium, festival goers can taste and buy the widest variety of cheese – old favourites and new ones – under one roof. Here, a brand-new Italian Piazza with Mozzarella, olives, Provolone, Prosciutto di Parma, pasta, pesto and Italian hospitality awaits.

“Unique to the SA Cheese Festival are exhibitions by artisanal cheesemakers from far and wide,” says Ehlers. “We annually offer an opportunity to a number of small cheese makers to introduce their unique handmade products to up to 30 000 visitors as part of our #Support #SmallCheeseMakers project in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCDoA) and Absa.”

Room for learning from experts

Food lovers who like adventurous pairing experiences will enjoy a feast of six daily demonstrations in the Tasting Room, at no extra cost. Well-known foodies such as The Food Alchemist Pete Goffe-Wood, The Kate Tin Katelyn Allegra, The Food Fox Ilse van der Merwe and the Italian La Terra dei Cuochi winner Lapo Magni will share their pairing secrets – combining cheese with wine, beer and other complementary products. Come discover the story behind Afrikoa chocolate from Tanzania and what makes Prosecco different to Champagne.

According to Ehlers, visitors can also look forward to “Are you a ‘BOK’ for cheese?” with the Bok Radio Breakfast duo Wimpie and Le-Lue featuring SA’s 2019 Dairy Product of the Year – the 50/50 goat’s and cow’s milk cheese St Francis of Ashisi of Belnori Boutique Cheesery. Also on the programme are SA’s Top Ten Chenin Blanc in collaboration with Standard Bank; and cheese-and-wine tastings by Fairview’s chief winemaker Anthony de Jager (Friday and Sunday) and owner Charles Back (Saturday).

“Last year, the Tasting Room sessions were extremely popular and festival goers should arrive early to ensure a seat,” Ehlers recommends.

Discover alternative products

In the ‘Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives’ Mall, there is a selection of niche and alternative products such as pomegranates, chillies and periwinkle to choose from plus bargains directly from entrepreneurs thanks to a partnership with the WCDoA. In the ‘Cape Made Kitchen’, visitors can experience a taste of magic, at no extra cost, during three daily demonstrations where chefs of the Private Hotel School demonstrate specially developed recipes pairing cheese with bread and alternative products. Visitors also receive an exclusive recipe book as gift.

Cheese carving and live music

Big and small can win fantastic prizes (and of course delicious cheese!) in the Ladismith Cheese Carving Competition for which visitors can enter daily before 13:00 at Blossom’s Gazebo. Entries are free, but space is limited. And at the Music Gazebo, festival goers can enjoy performances by artists such as ShenFM, Absolutely Fabulous, Sincere Swing, The Grey, Under Cover and SHIM SHAM Band.

Boutique is king

According to Ehlers, the SA Cheese Festival offers the ideal platform to support boutique manufacturers. “Stalls with a select collection of wines are situated just outside the Cheese Emporium – a move from inside that was received overwhelmingly positive by festival goers last year,” says Ehlers. “Our focus is on discovering new tastes – from wine and craft beer to gin with honey, almond, buchu, strawberry or chai. We promote responsible use of alcohol and recommend that festival goers make use of shuttle services and taxis. ”

“Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” Friday

Friday 26 April is the first day of the festival and therefore the ideal day to experience the festival at a slower pace before the weekend gets busy. Watch out for “Raak ‘n bietjie rustig” packages on Friday 26 April – perfect for groups such as book/garden/crochet/coffee/bowls/lift clubs. Buy three adult or three senior citizen tickets and a fourth friend can attend the festival free of charge.

Get tickets before they sell out

The SA Cheese Festival will take place from Friday 26 April to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch. No tickets will be available at the gates. Tickets are available at Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers at R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children aged 2 to 13 pay R20. An exclusive Connoisseurs’ Experience is available (at R950 per person, over 18 years only) for only 100 guests per day, with reserved seating, VIP parking, early access, a Président Cheese curated cheese board, a bottle of Linton Park wine and more.

Visit, contact Agri-Expo at 021-975 4440 or email for more information. For programme highlights, follow the SA Cheese Festival on Facebook (Cheese Festival), Twitter (@SACheeseFest) and Instagram (sacheesefest).



Isabeau Botha

Corporate Communication Manager


021 975 4440/072 247 5868

CIOPORA AGM 2019 Focuses on IP for Plants in South Africa, China and the US

4 April 2019

CIOPORA, the international association of breeders of asexually reproduced ornamental and fruit varieties, brings plant breeders, Intellectual property (IP) experts and governmental delegates from over 20 countries to Stellenbosch/Somerset West, South Africa, for learning, debating and networking on IP for plant innovations.

April 1, Stellenbosch/Somerset West – the latest developments in the national Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) regimes of China, South Africa and the US are in the center of attention at the CIOPORA’s 58th Annual General Meeting that is being held April 1 through April 5 in Stellenbosch/Somerset West, South Africa.

The objective of the meeting is to provide the plant breeder community with a comprehensive update on the latest developments in IP protection for plants and to facilitate the exchange of information about enforcement of the plant-related IP rights worldwide between the green sector, legal experts and governments.

Currently 120 delegates from 20 countries are attending this meeting in Somerset West. They represent breeders who license fruit and flower varieties worldwide, producing crops that also contribute to the sustainable development and competitiveness of South African horticulture.

CIOPORA aims to ensure that Plant Breeders’ Rights are fair, effective and enforceable, enabling breeders to develop new varieties that are able to cope with a changing environment and ensure sustainably produced products for an ever growing population. Sapo Trust, Citrogold and TopFruit (via A.I.G.N.) are the South African members of the association. Along with 120 CIOPORA members and guests from over 20 countries, CIOPORA’s AGM invitation was accepted by several high-level governmental delegations, including the officials from the People’s Republic of China, the EU, and the US. The meetings will serve as a platform for knowledge transfer and establishment of a productive dialogue between governments and businesses as to potential improvement and further harmonization of the PBR regimes across various jurisdictions.

The full week’s program includes the CIOPORA Academy Workshop on April 1, the Administrative meeting on April 2, the IP Around the Globe panel discussion and the Enforcement Symposium on April 3, the CIOPORA Conference dedicated to various aspects of the green business in newly industrialized countries on April 4, and the business visits hosted by Provar and Future Fynbos on April 5. END

The governmental guests of the CIOPORA AGM 2019 include:

From People’s Republic of China – the Supreme People’s Court Judge Ms Luo Xia; Director of Plant Variety Protection Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) Dr Cui Yehan; Deputy Director General of the Department of Science and Technology, National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA) Dr Du Jishan.

From the US: the Deputy Administrator, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dr Ruihong Guo; Director of the USPTO IP Attaché Program Mr Dominic Keating.

From the EU: the CPVO Vice-President Mr Francesco Mattina;

From the UPOV: Vice Secretary-General of UPOV Mr Peter Button.


Ms. Anna Kaehne

Director of PR and Communications

Tel: +49 40 555 63 702


CIOPORA is the International Association of Breeders of Asexually Reproduced Ornamental and Fruit Varieties. Breeders of such varieties account for two-thirds of all Plant Variety Rights (PVR) titles in the world. For more than 50 years, CIOPORA has represented these breeders in all matters of Intellectual Property (IP) Protection


Ms Liza Matthews

Marketing Manager

Tel: +27 73 147 4725

Citrogold contact

Ms Charlene Nieuwoudt

Communications Manager

Tel: +27 21 883 9723


Citrogold (Pty) Ltd is a cultivar management company identifying, developing and commercializing horticultural intellectual property in South Africa with a focus on citrus and subtropical varieties.

Citrogold is leading manager of plant varieties with PVRs in South

IWSR Press Release

13 March 2019 – London, UK – Global consumption of still and sparkling wine is forecast to reach $207bn by 2022, for a total volume of 2.7bn nine-litre cases, reveals the latest IWSR Vinexpo report.

The total still and sparkling wine market will grow in volume by 2.15% between 2017 and 2022.

Driven by the trend to ‘drink less but better’, value outstripped volume growth across all regions. This is particularly evident in the Americas and Asia-Pacific. While volume and value advances in Europe were more moderate, the region continues to dominate global consumption and value shares at 58% and 50% respectively.

The US continues to inch forward as the world’s most valuable wine market, worth $34.8bn in 2017. France is the second most valuable market at $16.7bn, followed closely by China at third place at $16.5bn.

The Vinexpo/IWSR research predicts that China will overtake France by 2020 as the second most valuable market in the world. By 2022, the Vinexpo/IWSR study predicts that the value of the Chinese market is forecast to hit more than $19.5bn.

The ranking of the top five volume markets remained unchanged in 2017. The US was in the lead at 318m cases, followed by Italy (266m) France (250m), Germany (224m) and China (156m).

The world’s leading import markets are Germany, number one at 126.3m cases, followed by the UK at 114m cases. By contrast, the US (79.9m) and China (61m) ranked third and fourth continue to trend positively.

In the run-up to 2022, premium wines (priced at $10.00-$20.00) will be the biggest driver of value growth for still and sparkling wine (+15% between 2017 to 2022). The US and China will be major contributors to this trend.

While red wine dominates global consumption with a 55% share, it is forecast to fall below 54% by 2022. Over the same period consumption of white wine, and particular rosé, are set to rise.

Sparkling wine is putting fizz into the global market, especially in Europe which accounts for 65% of volume and 55% of value. World volume of 260.2m cases was worth $28.9bn. By 2022, volume is expected to rise to 281m cases, worth $32.9bn.

The US will drive imported sparkling wine growth over the next few years, by adding 4.6m nine-litre cases. Growth in the UK will slow. The Vinexpo/IWSR report that UK will add another 1.8m cases between 2017 and 2022. Both US and UK sparkling wine imports will be driven by prosecco, a major driver of sparkling wine consumption.

In value terms, the top five markets are the US ($4.5bn), France ($3.6bn), the UK and Germany ($2.7bn each) and Italy ($2.5bn).

While locally made spirits account for nearly 90% of consumption worldwide, international spirits are eroding this share, especially in China (baijiu) and Asia-Pacific (cane, brandy and rum). Between 2017 and 2022, consumption of imported spirits will grow by 12%, to reach 399m nine-litre cases.

Global spirits will inch forward in the run-up to 2022. Declines in vodka will be offset by big advances by whisky (65.9m cases), gin (9.5m) and flavoured spirits (2.4m).

Such is the strength of the trend to premium brands – especially in the US and China – that all premium-plus categories (except vodka) are forecast to grow over the next five years.

Sales enquiries:

For information on how to purchase this report, please contact:

IWSR press contact:

Hana-Mai Hawkins –, +44 (0)20 7689 6832

Vinexpo press contact:

Camille Malavoy –, +33 (0)6 31 00 50 41

About the IWSR

The IWSR is the leading source of data and intelligence on the alcoholic beverage market. The IWSR’s database, essential to the industry, quantifies the global market of wine, spirits, beer, cider and mixed drinks by volume and value in 157 countries, and provides insight into short- and long-term trends, including five-year volume and value forecasts.

The IWSR tracks overall consumption and trends at brand, price segment and category level. Our data is used by the major international wine, spirits and beer companies, as well as financial and alcoholic beverage market suppliers.

The IWSR’s unique methodology allows us to get closer to what is actually consumed and better understand how markets work. Our analysts travel the world in order to meet over 1,600 local professionals to capture market trends and the ‘why’ behind the numbers.

About Vinexpo

Since its establishment in Bordeaux in 1981, on the initiative of Bordeaux Gironde’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vinexpo has been a leading organiser of events for the wine and spirits industry. In 38 years, Vinexpo has developed a unique understanding of the market and an extensive network of key distributors around the world. The brand currently runs exhibitions in five set locations (Bordeaux, Hong Kong, New York, and soon Shanghai and Paris), and the touring event Vinexpo Explorer. Every year, the group also publishes the Vinexpo/IWSR Report, which is the most comprehensive survey on the global consumption of wine and spirits.

Vinexpo Bordeaux will take place on 13-16 May 2019


22 February 2019 –

The African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) has welcomed plans to accelerate inclusive economic growth and job creation from Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, during his 2019 Budget Speech yesterday.

The Minister said the budget speech was responding to the five tasks given by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his 2019 State of the Nation Address, where he called for (i) the acceleration of inclusive economic growth and job creation; (ii) the improvement of the education system and development of skills needed now and in future; (iii) improving the conditions of life for all South Africans, especially the poor; (iv) fighting corruption and state capture; and lastly (v) strengthening the capacity and capability of the state to address the needs of the people.

Minister Mboweni stressed the importance of agriculture in achieving positive outcomes from taking on these five tasks. He said the state will be supporting private sector investments in agriculture by emerging farmers. He added that R1.8 billion will be allocated for the implementation of 262 priority land-reform projects over the next three years, whilst R3.7 billion was set aside to assist emerging farmers seeking to acquire land to farm. “The Land Bank will support smallholders, and leverage partnerships with other financial institutions. It aims to disburse R3 billion in the next fiscal year,” added Minister Mboweni.

AFASA appreciates the acknowledgment and pledged support from government to smallholder farmers. The organization believes that whilst it is important to allocate enough funds, the state capacity and focus in all spheres of government requires a serious revamp as it is not adequately serving an integrated growth and development agenda for, particularly black farmers. This has been proven by past failures, evidently in the land reform process where over 80% of the land reform project failed or collapsed. The organization, therefore, calls for an alignment of land reform with agrarian reform with a revamp of institutions to be more effective and efficient.

Black Farmers have grappled with the untransformed sector which has mainly served the interests of established commercial farmers since the deregulation period in 1997. This has led to a vacuum for farmer support for nearly 22 years. AFASA supports inclusive growth, the call now is for the amendment of the National Marketing Act to address the unintended consequences of deregulation.

Whilst the Land Bank’s announcement is encouraging, AFASA believes more has to be done to ensure that the bank delivers more on supporting black farmers. The organization would also like to congratulate the Land Bank, particularly its former CEO, Mr TP Nchocho who was at the helm when the bank managed to repay its debt, reducing government’s guarantee exposure. This is proof that we have capable black professionals who can drive the country to prosperity. “We wish Mr Nchocho more success at his current position as CEO of the  Industrial Development Corporation. We hope he’ll continue to drive transformation at the IDC, especially through supporting black farmers/businesses venturing into agro-processing/secondary agriculture,” said Mr Neo Masithela, AFASA chairperson.

AFASA believes that the agricultural funding model has been a total failure that entrenches inequality and perpetuates poverty and food insecurity at the household level. Currently, 88% of the Land Bank loan book serves white commercial farmers. The situation in commercial banks is worse. In terms of government funding, 2017/18 saw the removal of Recapitalization Support with no replacement. When farmers engaged with both Land and Agriculture Ministers, they were told that the new programme of Blended Finance in partnership with the Land Bank would be launched, but this didn’t materialize. This led to a disappointing planting season last year where farmers could not get access to funds or support for planting.

AFASA, therefore, calls for organized agriculture’s involvement in processes that follows the Minister’s speech, especially the plans for smallholder farmer/industry development and growth. “It is fundamentally wrong that anything can be planned for development and growth without primary stakeholders such as AFASA, or the Agricultural Sector Unity Forum. Through the ASUF, the sector could be part of the policy and agri-programmes’ development process, including developing pro-development funding models,” concluded Mr Masithela.


Issued by Peter Mashala

076 559 3439/084 484 4049

The 18th SA Cheese Festival News

19 February 2019 – Discover 18 experiences at the 18th SA Cheese Festival

The 18th South African Cheese Festival, from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 April 2019 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch, offers a true value for money experience – your ticket indeed buys you 18 of them:

  1. The Cheese Emporium: The heart of the SA Cheese Festival where you can taste and buy the largest variety of cheeses – old favorites and innovative new ones – under one roof.
  2. The Italian Experience: A brand new addition specially created in collaboration with Food Lover’s Market. Come stroll through our piazza and experience Italian hospitality and gastronomy in abundance – from Mozzarella and olives to Provolone, Prosciutto di Parma, pasta, pesto and more!
  3. Taste it first: Many exhibitors utilise the SA Cheese Festival as a platform to launch new products and test the market – discover it here before it appears on store shelves.
  4. The Tasting Room: We marry cheese with wine, beer and every new trend. Come watch, listen and taste at no extra cost … and experience interesting taste combinations presented by well-known foodies such as The Kate Tin (Katelyn Allegra) and The Food Fox (Ilse van der Merwe), as well as the popular ‘Bok Radio’ breakfast duo Wimpie and Le-Lue.
  5. ‘Raak ‘n bietjie rustig’ day: Friday, 26 April, a working day? Never! It’s pay day after all – perfect for a leisurely day out with your entire book/garden/crochet/coffee/bowls/lift club! Watch out for ‘Raak ‘n bietjie rustig’ packages for groups and discover the festival at your own pace.
  6. Meet boutique cheese makers: Come and support entrepreneurs who, despite the drought, come from far and wide to introduce their unique handmade cheeses to artisan cheese lovers!
  7. Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives: A fresh from the farm collection of alternative products such as olives, honey and rooibos to pick and choose from … with bargains directly from producers, thanks to a partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture.
  8. The Cape Made Kitchen: Come and experience a taste of magic as chefs from the Private Hotel School pair cheese with bread and alternative products, brought to you in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, Hortgro, the Milk Producers’ Organisation (MPO), Grain SA and Agri-Expo. As a bonus there is a free recipe book to take home!
  9. Making memories: It just gets better year after year! The SA Cheese Festival is a popular place to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries (or to meet your better half à la celebrity chef Bertus Basson!)
  10. Boutique is king: Support boutique producers while discovering and appreciating new taste experiences – from wine and beer to gin with honey, almond, buchu, strawberry or chai!
  11. The Ladismith Cheese Carving Competition: A daily highlight in Blossom’s Gazebo – enter for free at the festival (entries are limited). Prove your creativity, carve a cheese and win great prizes!
  12. The Music Gazebo: Kick up your heels and enjoy your shopping to the rhythm of popular local artists while you relax with family and friends.
  13. The Milk Factory: Visit the friendly cows and goats at the Milk Factory and show the little ones where the cheese comes from.
  14. The Gourmet Lane: Popular food stalls serve delicious dishes – with even more cheese!
  15. The Kiddies Corner: Hours of fun and entertainment for the children in a safe environment while parents relax.
  16. #SundayFamilyFunDay: Enjoy a true #SundayFunday with your whole family whilst some of the country’s best cheeses and other boutique products are just a few steps away.
  17. The Connoisseurs Experience: There are only 100 tickets available per day for this exclusive festival experience with shaded seating, a cheeseboard,  bottle of wine and many extras. Hurry up, last year’s gourmets are all coming back for more!
  18. Be safe: The SA Cheese Festival promotes the responsible use of alcohol. Make use of shuttle services and taxis for peace of mind.


The festival times are daily from 10:00 to 18:00. Sandringham is conveniently located next to the N1, Stellenbosch turn-off (exit 39), between Cape Town and Paarl.


Tickets cost R180 per person per day. Senior citizens pay R120 and children between 2 and 13 years R20. Tickets are available at Computicket. No tickets will be sold at the gates. The Connoisseurs’ Experience costs R950 per person (only persons over 18 years old) and is available from Claudine Wagner at


Discover more about the SA Cheese Festival’s 18 year celebration at, Twitter @SACheeseFest, Facebook @SACheeseFestival or Instagram @sacheesefest, or contact Agri-Expo at tel 021 975 4440 or




Isabeau Botha

Corporate Communication Manager
021 975 4440 / 072 247 5868

Agri-Expo News

6 February 2019 – Exhibition industry honours ‘Livestock’ en ‘Die Groot Plaasproe’.


For immediate release

6 February 2019

Exhibition industry honours ‘Livestock’ en ‘Die Groot Plaasproe’


An agricultural exhibition for the second year in a row outperformed some of the best commercial exhibitions in Africa at the exhibition industry’s annual awards function.

The agricultural-expo-farm-experience-combination ‘Agri-Expo Livestock’ and ‘Die Groot Plaasproe’ was awarded one of the industry’s top honours, namely the ROAR award for ‘Best Trade and Consumer Exhibition’, in the category for over 12 000 m2, on Thursday 31 January 2019. They competed against the cream of the exhibition industry in Southern Africa with other prominent category winners such as ‘MamaMagic: The Baby Expo Cape Town’ by Exposure Marketing (awarded the best overall exhibition), ‘Caminex Zambia’ by Specialized Exhibitions Montgomery, as well as ‘World Travel Market (WTM) Africa’, ‘Decorex Durban’ and ‘Fire and Feast Meat Exhibition’ by Reed Exhibitions.


The awards function was held by AAXO (Association of African Exhibition Organisers) in conjunction with EXSA (Exhibition Association of Southern Africa) at Montecasino in Johannesburg. The team of judges consisted of industry experts, including Irene Costa (Business Events Africa), Shanna Jacobsen (3S Media) and Lance Gibbons (Film Event Media).


According to Johan Ehlers, Chief Executive Officer of Agri-Expo, the agricultural society which presents ‘Livestock’ and ‘Die Groot Plaasproe’ annually in October at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch, recognition by the exhibition industry is as important a motivation as the agricultural industry and the public’s support of the project.

“Agri-Expo’s vision is precisely to promote agriculture by offering professional exhibitions. This award is not just recognition for Agri-Expo, but for the larger agricultural industry in South Africa,” says Ehlers. “Livestock and Die Groot Plaasproe have grown over the past five years to become one of the few opportunities in South Africa where the public can experience the total value chain of different agricultural industries in an accessible manner. It has developed into a multi-purpose agricultural expo providing a home to more than 20 different projects promoting agriculture as a whole – and therefore involves a logistical masterpiece.”

‘Agri-Expo Livestock’ and ‘Die Groot Plaasproe’ takes place from Thursday 10 October to Saturday 12 October 2019, at Sandringham, Stellenbosch. Details available on or

Issued by

Isabeau Botha

Korporatiewe Kommunikasiebestuurder I Corporate Communication Manager
021 975 4440 / 072 247 5868