U.S. Cheesemakers Vie for International Acclaim at World Cheese Awards

September 1, 2010 10:28 AM

Source: U.S Dairy Export Council

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom—Attention, U.S. cheesemakers: It’s time to enter your favorite cheeses into the 2010 World Cheese Awards!
For the first time, this year’s competition will take place at the BBC Good Food Show, the U.K.’s largest consumer foods exhibition—the perfect setting for the world’s largest cheese competition. More than 2,500 entries from 34 countries competed for top honors in 2009, and organizers are expecting a similar, if not better, turnout for this year’s competition.
Among the more than 300 judges for this year’s show will be leading cheese buyers, retail experts, chefs and food journalists from around the world. And following the contest judging, the World Cheese Award pavilion will open to receive the expected 95,000 BBC Good Food Show visitors. There’s no better way to get exposure, event organizers say.
“The cheese Olympics arrives in the U.K. two years before the sport Olympics,” says Bob Farrand, World Cheese Awards chairman and National Director of the Guild of Fine Food. “Birmingham in November will be an irresistible magnet to every cheese lover. Never before will so many cheeses have been on offer for tasting by British consumers.”
The judging takes place Nov. 24, but all entries must be submitted no later than Oct. 15 and the cheeses must arrive in New York for bulk shipping no later than Nov. 10.
As part of its ongoing support of the World Cheese Awards, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) again will sponsor a special annual prize for the best U.S. cows milk cheese.
USDEC officials encourage U.S. cheesemakers to seize the opportunity to achieve global recognition. Last year was a record year for the United States, which took home 83 medals in 43 categories.
“Cheeses from the U.S. continue to impress across the pond,” says Angélique Hollister, director of cheese and manufactured products, USDEC. “They win awards, yes—but they also win entry into tough international markets through this contest. We’ve seen past winners at the World Cheese Awards parlay that recognition into new sales around the globe.”
Participating in the competition is relatively simple. The entry cost for one cheese is $42 USD. U.S. cheesemakers need only fill out an online entry form, pay the entry fee and get the cheese sample to the appointed consolidator in the United States. Event organizers then cover the cost of shipping from the point of consolidation to the U.K.
More than 100 classes of cheese will be judged, ranging from mild cheddar to unique, hand-crafted artisan varieties.
For more information, go to Fine Food World and click on the World Cheese Awards link. The link includes an entry brochure, online entry form, list of cheese award classes and other information about the competition.

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