According to Agri-Expo, South Africa produces about 82 000 metric ton of cheese per year from 800 million liters of milk. About 51% of this quantity is in the form of Cheddar (31%) and Gouda (20%) and the rest consists of other types, headed by Mozzarella, Feta and Cream cheese. Specialty, or continental, cheeses are the new flavour heroes and for now Italian types are leading because of their versatility. However, French types are bound to make a serious attempt to lead in demand, once consumers discover their flavour profiles.
Some twelve big automated and modern factories are responsible for about 65% of all cheese made in South Africa while the largest factory can manufacture up to 45 metric ton of cheese per day, all of uniform quality. The rest is produced in medium to small cheeseries, some producing only 25 kg per day. Cheese is manufactured in all the provinces of South Africa but there has been a shift by the medium and smaller manufacturers towards the Western and Eastern Cape coastal areas. This is in line with the fact that milk production has been shifting away from the inland areas to the southern coastal regions due to favourable weather conditions and the availability of water. The Western Cape is now the undisputed cheese province of South Africa as it is estimated that more than 50% of all cheese is produced in it.
Suppliers to the Cheese Industry: