Local agri-businesses set to benefit from the South African Cheese Festival
The South African Cheese Festival, now celebrating its 17th year, will take place in Stellenbosch from Friday April 27, until Sunday April 29.
The Western Cape Department of Agriculture and Wesgro are sponsors of this massive annual event, where about 30 tonnes of locally made cheeses are consumed each year.
This year, the event will be going water-wise to ensure that it does not put a strain on scarce water resources in the province.
The star of the show will be the cheese, however, visitors will also be able to see and sample other local produce including Western Cape wines, as well as water-wise alternative crops such as berries, pomegranates, figs and honeybush tea at the Cape Made: Taste The Alternatives exhibition.
In a bid to ensure that farmers are resilient to climate change, the Western Cape Department of Agriculture has been funding research into alternative crops and encouraging farmers to diversify their offerings. Already, alternative crops such as berries and cherries have seen excellent growth on the export market. These crops, in addition to being water wise, are often also labour intensive and contribute to job creation where they are grown.
At the Cape Made Kitchen, festival-goers will be treated to cooking demonstrations by chef Selwyn October, featuring water-wise recipes which combine cheese with some of these crops with delicious results. A recipe book featuring these recipes and others inspired by celebrity chefs Herman Lensing, Zola Nene and Johnny Hamman, will be available for free at the festival.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde said As part of our Project Khulisa strategy, we set ourselves a target of creating 100 000 news jobs in the agricultural and agri-processing sectors. This festival, has for a number of years provided a platform which has helped small scale producers to market their products and expand their customer base, which in turn helps them grow their businesses and create more jobs.
He said In addition to this, with about 30 000 visitors over the three day period, the festival also contributes to the tourism and hospitality sector. The South African Cheese Festival’s impact is felt in the local economy long after all the visitors have gone home, and so we commend the organisers for making the decision to go ahead with the festival in a water-wise way.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said Wesgro is a proud sponsor of the 2018 Cheese Festival, which has rightfully earned its status as one of the best culinary events in Africa. We commend the organisers for taking the necessary measures to ensure that their festival is water-wise, and we warmly welcome guests to our province to enjoy the entertainment and top class cheese tasting experience the event promises.
Source: Government of South Africa