The 2011 Woolworths Cheese Makers Challenge was such a huge success that we’re again asking South Africa’s small cheeseries to create some exciting new cheeses and enter them in this year’s edition of what we hope will become an annual event. As Managing Director of Food, Zyda Rylands, explains, “Innovation has always been what our customers rely on us for. Our Cheese Makers Challenge is a wonderful way for us to add to our existing range of over 130 cheeses, many of which are exclusive to Woolworths, and at the same time acknowledge the artisans behind so many of them.” The winner of the 2011 competition, dairy farmer turned cheese maker Eckard Leicher of La Montanara, a small cheesery near Ashton in the Breede River valley, whose Royal Ashton cheese took home top honours in the 2011 competition is one of them. His Maasdam-type cheese with a sweet, nutty flavour recently joined the ranks of award-winning cheeses available at Woolworths. We’re pleased to say that Royal Ashton is also one of seven Woolworths cheeses to receive a Qualité award at the 2012 SA National Dairy Championships. The others are our Boerenkaas, 6-months Matured Cheddar, Vintage Cheddar, Ricotta, Mascarpone and plain Cream Cheese. No fewer than 21 Woolworths cheeses took first prizes. Rylands continues, “We’re exceptionally proud of how well our cheeses performed at this prestigious event. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Woolworths really has become the home of award-winning cheese. And who knows, your cheese could also join the ranks of these award winners.” HOW TO ENTER Cheese makers who are considering launching a new cheese, or who have launched a novelty cheese in the previous 12 months that’s not currently sold in retail supermarkets, are encouraged to enter. A maximum of two cheeses may be entered by any one cheese producer. These should fit within the following broad categories: hard cheese, semi-hard cheese, wash rind cheese, white mould cheese, blue mould cheese, fresh cheese or cheeses with additives. As you would expect, entries will also have to comply with all regulations governing cheeses in South Africa as well as Woolworths standards. All the details and entry forms are available on as well as the Woolworths TASTE magazine web site, Entries must be submitted by 30th September 2012 and products must be submitted by 31st October 2012. There is no entry fee. Judging will be done by an independent panel. ENDS