Woolworths, home of award winning cheese, invites small cheeseries in South Africa to participate in the third annual Cheese Maker’s Challenge. The winning cheese will be sold exclusively through Woolworths.

At Woolworths, we are passionate about innovation, and are constantly searching for interesting, quality cheeses to introduce to our customers. We offer over 130 cheeses, many of which are exclusive to Woolies, and more than 70 of our cheeses have won awards both locally and internationally in the last year. “The Cheese Maker’s Challenge is a great opportunity for us to find exciting, innovative cheeses to add to our award-winning selection,” says Zyda Rylands, Managing Director of Foods. “We’re looking forward to seeing which flavours and textures the small local cheeseries come up with this year.”

The Cheese Maker’s Challenge has grown since its launch in 2011, when Eckhard Leicher’s sweet, nutty Royal Ashton cheese was named the winner. Leicher runs La Montanara, a small cheesery near Ashton in the Breede Valley, and has been supplying Woolworths with cheeses, mostly of the organic variety, since 2001. Entries for the Cheese Maker’s Challenge increased considerably in 2012, when Kilimanjaro, a goat’s milk cheese produced by Belnori Boutique Cheesery in Gauteng, took home top honours. Norman and Rina Belcher, the owners of Belnori, make their cheeses from the milk produced by their very own Swiss Saanen goats.

For the third year running, Woolworths invites South Africa’s small cheeseries to craft exciting new cheeses to enter into the 2013 Cheese Maker’s Challenge, where they will stand a chance to have their product sold through selected Woolies stores across the country. Cheese makers who have plans to launch a new cheese, or have already launched a novelty cheese since September 2012 that is not available at a supermarket, are eligible to enter. Each cheese maker can enter a maximum of two cheeses that fit into the hard cheese, semi-hard cheese, wash rind cheese, white mould cheese, fresh cheese or cheeses with additives categories. An independent panel of judges will be appointed to choose the winner of the 2013 Cheese Maker’s Challenge.

All entries are required to comply with the regulations that govern cheeses in South Africa, as well as with Woolworths standards. Entries should be submitted by 10 October 2013, and the final date for product submission is 5 November 2013. All details and entry forms for the Cheese Maker’s Challenge are available on www.woolworths.co.za and www.tastemag.co.za