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News - Date: 02 April 2020
Written by: Andries van Zyl / Viewed: 1918
Well-known family-owned business Limpopo Dairy outside Louis Trichardt added more accolades to their already impressive list of achievements the past few decades by scooping up two top awards during the annual Agri-Expo Qualité Awards.
The Agri-Expo Qualité Awards ceremony of the annual South African Dairy Championships, the largest dairy competition in Africa, was presented as a virtual event on 26 March - for the first time in its 187 years - amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The judging of the competition took place on 27 February in Cape Town before the first coronavirus case was recorded in South Africa. However, according to Mr Johan Ehlers, chief executive officer of Agri-Expo, the organiser of the SA Dairy Championships since 1834, they had to think innovatively about presenting this year's awards event.
In his address, Ehlers said that this year saw a record number of entries, totalling 975 products from 74 manufacturers in 107 classes. The competition is also one of the only ones that uses five judges. “Also encouraging is that 11 new manufacturers entered,” said Ehlers.
The Qualité mark of excellence was established in 2001 to give recognition to outstanding dairy products. The mark is given for products scoring 26 or more points out of a possible 30 points during the competition. This means that, although a product might not be judged a national champion, it can still qualify for a Qualité award. To put things even more into perspective, only 1% to 3% of entrants receive this award.
Regarding the above, Limpopo Dairy was one of only 23 recipients of a Qualité award during the 2020 awards ceremony. This was for their Hyjo full-cream choc-caramel-flavoured smooth yoghurt. In addition, they were also voted the national champion in the flavoured drinking yoghurt class for their Woolworth’s goat’s milk strawberry drinking yoghurt.
“We do not produce products for competitions, but we enter because our clients request us to do so. Having said this, it is still nice to know your products compare with the country’s best. This is good for our staff and, of course, our customers who buy our products,” said Limpopo Dairy’s managing director, Mr Tobias Fourie. He added that this was once again an example of the many good things happening in the Soutpansberg community. “We can all be proud of what our community achieves. We are grateful for the recognition,” said Fourie.
Staff members of Limpopo Dairy are proud of the awards they received during the annual Agri-Expo Qualité Awards last week. In front, from left to right, are Boitumelo Mosako (QA manager), Joseph Soana (production operator), Petrus Ferreira (production supervisor), Melton Tshishonga (filling supervisor) and Juline Harmse (system administrator). At the beck are Jaco Voigt (chief financial officer), Alex Mdunge (production manager) and Tobias Fourie (managing director). Photo: Limpopo Dairy.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.