Cheese Festival a favourite amongst sponsors
Apr 10th 2012, 08:45
This year the SA Cheese Festival is celebrating its eleventh year of cheese excellence and continues to play a significant role in the promotion of the local cheese and dairy industries. On the one hand it offers emerging cheese makers a platform to present their products to the public, thus gaining valuable market access; and on the other hand consumers are exposed to the large variety of cheese available.
“The success of the festival can partly be attributed to the fact that we’ve kept a clear focus on cheese,” says Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo. “We offer young and old a comprehensive and interactive experience of cheese and give them the chance to experiment with different ways of enjoying cheese.”
Various companies have over the years chosen to form a partnership with this popular festival by means of sponsorships. With more than 30 000 visitors and extensive media coverage before the festival, this has become a dream opportunity for sponsors. Four companies have been part of the Cheese Festival family in this way for ten years: Simonsberg Cheese, Ladismith Cheese, Absa and Welmoed (The company of wine people).
According to Rian van der Merwe, Marketing Manager of Ladismith Cheese, their involvement makes complete marketing sense. “The Cheese Festival contributes to a more informed cheese consumer and over the span of just four days we get the opportunity to promote our products to a very wide spectrum of visitors,” he says.
“The Cheese Festival has contributed significantly to help create a South African cheese-eating nation,” says Ryk Coetzee of Simonsberg. “The informal cheese conversations enabled by the festival are invaluable for cheese makers like us as we are passionate about our products and love to know how people are experiencing them.”
For ten years Absa has supported a number of small cheese makers to exhibit their wares at the festival. “To date we’ve enabled some 80 small cheese makers to gain exposure in this way and some of them have consequently experienced such growth that today they win Qualité Cheese Awards for their products,” says Willem Nel, Regional Manager Enterprise Business, Western Cape. “The support given to these small enterprises has a ripple effect and even contributes to the creation of employment in the remote areas of our country.”
Although cheese remains the main player on the Festival stage, a range of culinary partners are included in the line-up of stalls; and because cheese and wine are such close friends, Welmoed Wines’ decade of support has proven positive for both parties. “We view the festival as the ideal setting to chat to consumers,” says Corne Oosthuizen, Trademark & Business Development manager at Welmoed. “The festival is professionally organised and managed and offers true value for money for the whole family – and Welmoed is proud to be associated with such a popular event.”
This year’s SA Cheese Festival takes place from 27 – 30 April at Sandringham (next to the N1, halfway between Cape Town and Paarl). Tickets are available only at Computicket and Checkers (no tickets at the gates). Visit www.cheesefestival.co.za for more information.
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