Organiser says a Devon and Cornwall-based cheese-making firm could take a £10m prize
The producers of “world’s best” cheese, worth £10m to the UK economy, have been named.
Organisers of the World’s Best Cheese Awards said a Devon-based firm, Anna Spoerry, was among 200 entries in its inaugural World’s Best Cheese Awards, having scooped an “outstanding” prize in the Blue category.
The firm has been awarded the trophy at a ceremony in Rome, where judges assessed “acutely-flavoured cheeses” from across the world, as well as from from London, Paris, Manchester, Milan, Miami and New York.
The event has the backing of the World of Taste trade group, which put forward the award to highlight the best of UK cheese making. It has pledged to give the UK economy £10m of funding if any dairy cheese is voted in as the most exceptional.
Companies in the UK will receive £1 for every vote cast for a cheese at the awards, which will be held again in 2021. The 100 prize-winning cheeses up for voting will each receive £10,000, with the winning contest entry each winning £20,000.
The company managing director, Chris Grimwood, told the Press Association that his producers are not only honouring their history of making some of the finest cheese available, but they are adding a new dimension to the UK’s growing cheese-making industry.
He said: “I think we are living in a time that is very exciting and I think the future of cheese will be amazing. I think there will be huge opportunities for everyone, and there’s a lot of opportunities here for food producers in the UK.”
The UK has already seen some well-respected success from its cheese industry. Jack and Frank’s Gouda, the brand founded by the late Jack Benyon in 1924, has topped sales of luxury cheese worldwide for many years. Fromage au Fromage, a Danish cheese of caper berries, sheep’s milk curds and aged blue cheese, won a James Dyson Award in 2015, recognising the country’s high quality cheese industry.
As well as unveiling the final rankings in its inaugural Cheese Awards, organisers for World’s Best Taste also announced “The Global Farmhouse Cheese Awards” on Monday.
The awards for “world class cheeses produced on farms across the globe” will be announced in 2019.
Ticket-holders at the awards included Teresa Rogers, who started making cheese to celebrate her 50th birthday more than 30 years ago. She makes cheese all year round using aged cheddar and blue cheeses on a large, static rack, using cheese machines by hand.