Project Description

Woodlands Dairy’s First Choice Brand walks away with top honours at biggest dairy championships in Africa

Woodlands Dairy’s First Choice brand walked away with top honours in five categories at this year’s annual SA Dairy Championships. Established in 1834, it is the biggest dairy competition of its kind in the world and this year attracted a record number of entries.

A whopping 975 products by 74 manufacturers in more than 100 classes entered the competition, which is exceptional news for the dairy industry still hampered by challenges such as the ongoing drought and now also the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Tinus Pretorius, GM: Marketing and Sales at Woodlands Dairy, the SA Championships create an excellent opportunity for producers to compete on a national basis. “This year’s competition was extremely competitive and marked by a high level of quality and innovation, indicating growth in this sector as well as product development. The championship has become the benchmark for manufacturers to measure themselves against others in the industry,” he says.

Woodlands Dairy walked away with first place in five categories. Their First Choice Unsalted Butter was awarded the Qualité Mark of Excellence. Besides the butter being honoured, First Choice was also awarded the prestigious Qualité award for its Full Cream Flavoured Yoghurt (peach apricot flavoured smooth yoghurt). Pretorius explains: “We’re over the moon with being awarded the Qualité Mark for these two products. It’s a symbol of outstanding quality for dairy products and is only awarded to local dairy champions. A very limited number of products obtain this prestigious award and are then allowed to display the distinctive logo on their products for the following year.  All the reputable retailers in South Africa support the Qualité Award and have given their support to increase consumer awareness.”

Woodlands Dairy also won first place for its First Choice Mild Cheddar (maximum age four months) and UHT Full Cream Milk and Medium Fat Flavoured Milk (pasteurised, sterilised or UHT). First Choice took second place in the Full and Medium Fat Modified Butter as well as Vanilla Custard (UHT, pasteurised or fresh). It finished in third place in the Salted Butter and Matured Cheddar (matured six to nine months) categories.

Pretorius continues: “We’ve entered this competition numerous times and are absolutely delighted with the results. We’d like to thank our fantastic partners and team for their continued dedication, creativity and perseverance to offer our customers only the best.”

Woodlands Dairy and First Choice is committed to the environment and the first diary company to use biobased closures, which are partly made from a renewable resource such as sugarcane. “We use these closures across all our UHT product ranges, so the product is not just great tasting, good for you and your family, but also for the environment. We also use recyclable packaging where possible. Making these small changes to our offering is part of our sustainability drive to lessen our carbon footprint and the impact our business has on the environment and the world, both at plant level and what we launch into the market. We strive to live up to our motto With First Choice, The Good Choice,” Pretorius concludes.

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First Choice® milk is sourced from predominantly pasture-fed cows within the Eastern Cape region. Goodness runs through Woodlands Dairy’s veins, from the well-being of its team, its dairy farmers, the communities in which it operates and serve, as well as looking after the environment to lessen its carbon footprint, and the impact the business has on the world.

Woodlands Dairy truly believes that to produce a product which consumers love, the company has to love what it does, as well as those who help put its products on consumers’ tables every day. Food with goodness at its very origins.

With First Choice, The Good Choice.

In addition to their FIRST CHOICE® brand, Woodlands Dairy also processes, produces and packages high-quality house brand dairy products for leading retailers such as SPAR and Woolworths.