Alan Winde, MEC of Economic Opportunities, will officially open the 2015 South African Cheese Festival in Stellenbosch on Saturday.
The event traditionally showcases a wide variety of cheeses and this year there will be a focus on innovations in the industry.
MEC Winde said a new project would be introduced this year, Cape Made: Taste the Alternatives.
“This initiative is a partnership between the Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Agri-Expo to promote alternative products. This includes figs, pomegranates and indigenous teas. It’s an excellent platform to promote our local niche markets and influence consumers to try something new and at the same time, support our local produce.”
MEC Winde said increasing the export of local products was a key priority, adding that events such as the SA Cheese Festival played a vital role in this regard.
“Western Cape cheese is by far my favourite cheese and judging by its popularity on shopping market shelves, this holds true for many South Africans. It is my hope that one day, Western Cape cheese will be sought after across the globe. Platforms such as
the Cheese Festival showcase the strength of our industry and provide opportunities for producers to increase their market share.
“Currently, the agri-processing sector is worth R12 billion, employs 79 000 people and is poised for lift off. With it becoming a provincial game-changer through Project Khulisa, we are focused intensely on growing agri-processing products from our province in the next five years.”
In a further boost to the agri-processing sector, the Western Cape Government has launched the R6.6 million Cape Capital Fund to support entrepreneurs.
The fund is open to small businesses in the agri-processing and oil and gas sectors.
The festival takes place between 25 April and 27 April at Sandringham. Sandringham is located on the R304, Exit 39 on the N1 between Cape Town and Paarl.
For media queries, kindly contact:
Tel: 021 483 3550
Cell: 060 970 4301
SOURCE: South African Official News