Agri-Expo honours female leader in dairy industry

Rina  Belcher  of  Belnori  Boutique  Cheesery  was  honoured   by  Agri-Expo for her consistent and dynamic leadership in the dairy industry at the prestigious Qualité Awards Dinner at Grand West recently.   Belcher  is  a  master at  the art of making cheese and her numerous awards and accolades is testimony to this.  Under her leadership, Belnori Boutique Cheesery received 11 international and 40 national awards, including the 2016 Qualité award for Belnori’s Benedictus cheese.  Belcher  is a  founding member of the South African Goat and Sheep Milk Processors’ Organisation and has been the chairperson until recently.  She is also the chairperson of the Milk Producers’ Organisation in Gauteng and founder member of the Small Stock Dairy Association, an organisation that daily assists new entrants to the industry via social media platforms.

The Agri-Expo Dairy Roll of Honour

The dairy industry is an important pillar of the Cape of Good Hope Agricultural Society, also known as Agri-Expo, since its inception in 1831.   “As  an agricultural  society,  we  present  the  SA  Dairy  Championships, including the Qualité Awards and the SA Cheese Festival, but we rely on input and guidance from industry leaders to maintain a high standard and continuously adapt to the needs of the industry”, says Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo. 

The decision to develop the Agri-Expo roll of honour in 1992 was to acknowledge the outstanding contributions of industry leaders to the Society’s dairy projects.  “Only 8 individuals received this award in  25  years,  which  indicates the extremely high requirements of the nominations.”   Belcher’s passion for the development of dairy products from small stock, her ability to mobilise the industry through  structures and organisations and her dedication to and support  of  the  annual  SA Dairy Championships, the SA Cheese Festival and other Agri-Expo events and projects makes her more than deserving of this accolade. She is the first women whose name will  be  added  to  the list of industry stalwarts on the Agri-Expo Honorary Roll. 

Johan Ehlers, CEO of Agri-Expo, Rina Belcher and Kobus Mulder, International Cheese Expert