SOUTH AFRICA – Woolworths has clinched the prestigious title of Dairy Product of the Year at the South African Dairy Awards 2024 with its 10-month-old mature gouda, crafted in collaboration with Lactalis South Africa.

This recognition comes after a record-breaking competition featuring 1,029 dairy products from 78 producers, including 12 newcomers, competing for top honours at the awards ceremony on Thursday 25 April 2024 at Eensgezind outside Durbanville.

Chief judge and dairy expert Graham Sutherland praised the Woolworths Mature Gouda for its exceptional quality, highlighting its distinct taste and texture that offers a delightful and fulfilling culinary experience.

Sutherland emphasized the consistently high standard and expertise of the cheesemaker behind this award-winning cheese.

“Every dairy producer’s dream is to have their product selected as Product of the Year in a competition like this,” he said.

On the other hand, Herman Janse van Rensburg, general manager for Lactalis South Africa, expressed delight at securing the Product of the Year award for the sixth time in eight years, lauding the dedication of their teams in maintaining the company’s commitment to quality.

“We are excited that the top dairy award has gone to team Lactalis South Africa for an incredible sixth time in the past eight years. This is an incredible achievement,” he said.

“Thank you to all our dedicated teams who work incredibly hard and always strive to maintain the high-quality standards our consumers expect from us as a company.”

The SA Dairy Championships encompassed over 100 categories, including cheese, yogurt, milk, cream, ice cream, butter, and various other dairy products. Each category produces a winning product, which earned the title of SA Champion.

The Qualité Mark of Excellence, representing the pinnacle of quality in the dairy industry, was reserved for exceptional products that meet specific minimum standards on the international scorecard. The highest-scoring product was honored as Product of the Year.

Milford conveyed Agri-Expo’s appreciation for the partners who facilitate the SA Dairy Championships.

He announced a new three-year platinum partnership with IMCD and DSM, along with diamond partners Chr.Hansen and Synercore, gold partners Checkers, Orchem, IFF, Woolworths, and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, silver partners Condio and Pick n Pay, and bronze partner Mane.

Linda Segalla from IMCD South Africa emphasized IMCD’s dedication to supporting excellence and innovation in the dairy industry.

 “Our commitment to the South African Dairy Championships for the next three years reflects IMCD’s ongoing efforts to foster growth and recognition within the dairy community. With our expertise and dedication, IMCD is well-positioned to help advance the market to new levels of success.”

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