Tag Archives: Department of Agriculture

Western Cape cheese the focus at 2015 South African Cheese Festival!

Cheese Festival selection of cheesesThe 14th South African Cheese Festival opens today, and runs over the next three days, with more than 30000 visitors expected.  Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde will open the Festival today, and wants to see Western Cape cheese the focus of our country’s cheese industry, and that it be exported.

Two records have already been set for the 2015 Cheese Festival: it has the highest number of exhibitors ever, and the largest amount of space dedicated to cheese exhibitors in the history of the Cheese Festival.  The Cheese Festival is so popular that tickets for today and tomorrow are sold out already.

Visitors to the Cheese Festival will be introduced to new cheeses, and can enjoy cooking demonstrations, live entertainment, and meet personalities:

*   In Dairy Square the Checkers Cheese Emporium has been set up.  In the Checkers Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 15/16 March

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   TravelMedia.ie has been appointed to handle the marketing of our country for SA Tourism in Ireland, with the number of tourists from Ireland expected to increase.  The marketing focus will be on our country’s music, art, fashion, adventure, and culinary travel.

*   The USA Department of Agriculture predicts that our country’s vine harvest will decrease by 5%, to 1,42 million metric tons, and that production will decrease to 1,1 billion bottles this year.  The export of wine is expected to decrease to 500 million litres.  Last year was regarded as a record year for South African wine exports due to the good harvest and the depreciation of the Rand.

*   The inaugural AfrAsia Bank Cape Wine Auction, which was held at Delaire Graff yesterday, raised a phenomenal R8,9 million for three charities related to education. (via Twitter and Facebook) (NOTE 17/3:  the Auction total has been officially revised to R7 million this morning)

*   Receiving only 5% of the world’s 1 billion  tourists, Africa needs to develop itself as a tourism brand, the Tourism and Culture Minister of the Seychelles has said.  Minister Alain St.Ange called on African leaders to enhance Africa’s tourism awareness.  ‘The African continent needs an African Brand. We need a brand that will promote our region in tourism trade fairs. We need a brand that will work hand in hand with United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the UNWTO body‘, he said.  Africa must work with Africa, he added. South African Tourism Minister van Schalkwyk appeared to disagree, calling for each African country to do its own destination marketing.  He did however call for easier visa application processing for travel within the continent.

*   Hard Rock Café has returned to South Africa, and has opened in Johannesburg.  Branches in Continue reading →

WhaleTales Tourism, Food, and Wine news headlines: 13 September

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   BA is seeing increased business on its Africa routes and has already announced that it is putting ts A380 onto the Johannesburg route from February 2014.  The airline also is increasing its flights to Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, and Serria Leone,  whilst cutting those to Lusaka.

*   Increasing power and staff costs are major threats to the local wine industry, a study by PricewatershouseCoopers has revealed.

*   The Captain DoRegos take-away franchise is to be expanded into the rest of South Africa, and even into Africa, the Spur Corporation has announced.

*  Hein Koegelenberg has written an informative blogpost about how to protect Continue reading →

Food and beverage labelling and advertising to change radically

The promulgation of the Regulations related to the Labelling and Advertising of Foodstuffs in March this year, and effective in March 2011, will have a dramatic effect on all food and beverage labelling, reports AdVantage.  The Regulations fall under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972). 

The change in the labelling and advertising regulations was the Department of Health’s response to the World Health Organisation’s Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity & Health.  Consumers will be provided with much more accurate information  on food labels and advertising, and it means that almost every food and beverage pack will have to be redesigned, says Barry Skjoldhammer, the Director of Labelling Solutions at Labelpak.  “The reason I say this is because presently no product is in fact compliant”.  He says that while the regulations are clear, there is a great deal of confusion amongst food and beverage marketers as to the exact regulations. 

The regulations aim to curb the over-exaggeration of claims, and the manufacturers have to back up all such claims.   The size of the font used on packaging has been regulated.   Claims about a particular characteristic of a product cannot be made when it already contains that characteristic – e.g. one cannot claim that milk has calcium, or that fruit juice has Vitamin C.

The regulations prescribe that the following can be communicated on pack labels:

*   Nutrient content

*   comparative claims – claims such as ‘lite’, ‘less than’, and ‘reduced’ are allowed, but are a minefield.

*   country of origin

*   date/batch identification

*   food additives – must be listed in descending order in the ingredient list.

*   allergens, such as milk, fish, peanuts, some cereals, uncommon allergens, and potential cross-contamination in the production process, etc., must be declared in brackets

*   nutritional information

*   amount of ingredients in product which are emphasised on the label

The Regulations forbid the following:

*   Nutrient function claims

*   Enhanced function claims

*   Reduction of disease claims

*   Pre- and pro-biotic claims

*   Glycemic Index claims

*   Slimming claims

*   Negative claims

*   Misleading descriptions may not be created through words, the logo or artwork on the pack.  “A word, statement, logo, pictorial representation on a product that implies, for example, ‘healthier’ will not be allowed if they are not linked to specific protocols with the Department of Agriculture.”

Labelpak worked with its client Fruitime, in changing the packaging to meet the new Regulations.  It had to remove the claims “no sugar added” and “contains real fruit”; storage instructions have been added; the fruit photograph had to be changed to reflect the contents in the ingredients list; nutritional information was added; the blend name (‘Tropical Blend’) met the minimum size requirement of more than 4 mm. 

The new pack labelling and advertising regulations should help South African consumers make more informed and healthier choices in their brand purchases, which is what the World Health Organisation wishes to achieve world-wide. 

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com  Twitter @WhaleCottage