SA Cheese Festival crowned Winelands festival of the year | Fin24
 
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SA Cheese Festival crowned Winelands festival of the year

Oct 09 2018 13:45

The South African Cheese Festival was honoured as Festival of the Year by the Cape Winelands District Municipality's Executive Mayor Alderman Helena von Schlicht.

It was part of the 6th annual Mayoral Tourism Awards.

The SA Cheese Festival took place in the Winelands for the 17th time in April this year.

The awards Mayoral Tourism Awards emphasize the value of tourism in contributing to the local economy as well as to positive international relations. For every eight tourists staying in the district, one new permanent job opportunity is created.

According to Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, the SA Cheese Festival has grown since 2002 to become one of the largest culinary outdoor gatherings in Africa. It attracts up to 30 000 visitors over three days, of which more than 40% come from outside the Western Cape.

The festival is regarded as a platform for businesses to launch new products and to bring their brands to the attention of both consumers and retailers, including many small cheesemakers who have achieved success thanks to their participation in the festival.

"The festival is a unique culinary experience of cheese and its many companions, with more than 160 exhibitors displaying their products and creating awareness about the versatility of the variety of SA's cheese and related products," said Ehlers.

"It is, however, so much more than just a festival – it includes innovation, job creation, entrepreneurship, product development and, of course, consumer awareness.

For him it is especially encouraging that, through the festival, there has been a direct economic impact of boosting job creation in the immediate vicinity, as well as kick-starting small businesses and other entrepreneurs' product marketing.

"Agriculture offers many opportunities for marketing tourism in the Western Cape. Consumers today are more adventurous and, therefore, we must expose them to the full value chain – from the animal in the field to the cheese on their plate," said Ehlers.

"The challenge of innovation means we need to work together to continuously offer honest and unforgettable experiences that exceed visitors' expectations.”

The 18th SA Cheese Festival will take place from 26 to 28 April 2019 at the Sandringham Estate outside Stellenbosch.

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agribusiness  |  dairy  |  travel and leisure  |  cheese  |  tourism
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