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CAPE TOWN - The South African Cheese Festival is offering small cheesemakers the opportunity to showcase their products to the market this year at their festival. 

The festival will be taking place from the 27th of April to the 29th of April 2018 at Sandringham outside Stellenbosch. 

Small cheese businesses will receive substantial exposure for their business and their products because of this festival. 

Visitors to the festival can expect small cheeseries like Langbaken Karoo Cheese (Williston), Rockvale Cheesery (Bronkhorstspruit), Karoo Goat’s Milk (Loxton) and Foxenburg Estate (Wellington).

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Agri-Expo is the organiser of the festival and Johan Ehlers, the CEO of the Agri-Expo said: “The cheese festival has been bringing cheese producers and cheese lovers together for over a decade”. More than 160 companies and entrepreneurs use the platform that the festival provides to market their products to the public. 

Water Wise

The festival will take place this year without having an impact on the already depleted water sources in the Western Cape. 

Agri-Expo has consulted with various people to find solutions to have the festival in a water-wise manner.

Some of the ways that the festival is reducing their impact on water are by waterless hand sanitation, chemical temporary toilets and sourcing drinking water and ice from non-drought stricken areas. 

Ehlers credited the support of Absa and the Western Cape Department of Agriculture as the reasons that the festival can offer boutique cheese makers the opportunity to introduce their cheeses to people.

Since the cheese festival began 17 years ago, Agri-Expo has taken a number of cheese-makers under their wing. 

According to Ehlers, some of them have become established brand names that have products that win awards like the SA Champions or Qualité winners at the SA Dairy Championships. 

Head of Department at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture Joyene Isaacs said that the department was proud to support boutique cheese makers. 

Isaacs said, “the opportunity that the Cheese Festival creates in relation to market access, is indeed commendable”.

Willie Zastron, the Provincial Head for Business Banking in the Western Cape, said that the partnership between Absa and the cheese festival makes absolute business sense. He said, “The success of the partnership lies not only in exposure for these small cheese-makers’ products”. 

Zastron added that the communities where the cheesemakers run their businesses at the same time receive an economic boost as the growing industry creates more job opportunities. 

Liesel Kasselman from Kasselshoop said that the festival plays a big role introducing small cheese makers to people. She said “We view the cheese festival as one of the cornerstones of the Kasselshoop with regards to market research, product development and relationship building with buyers. 

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