Virtual Cheese Awards needs you!

Click the picture above to submit a cheese entry.

Good Morning Cheesy1’s,

As you can’t have failed to have missed the world around us all is different for so many reasons and industries across the globe large to small need our support. I of course champion the cheese industry and I like to think of myself as a positive ambassador for this wondrous community. To that end with the pandemic that we have all faced people & businesses have had to adapt and in some cases modernise to capture the imaginations of potential customers & fans. Having events cancelled across the year is not new to any of us but it’s particularly hard for industries that rely on the networking and the pride of their product being awarded for recognition.

Enter the Virtual Cheese Awards an idea created by Nigel Pooley & Sarah De Wit who have launched the UK’s very first virtual cheese awards which takes place on 18th July.

This not for profit awards has been designed to support Great British cheesemakers when they need it the most.

“Great British cheesemakers produce more than 700 diverse and delicious cheeses from traditional territorial cheeses like Cheddar, Lancashire and Stilton to continental inspired cheeses like British camembert and brie.  However, due to COVID-19 the annual cheese awards which celebrate these great cheesemakers and help them to promote their products to consumers have been postponed.

This acts as a double whammy of challenges to British cheesemakers who are already struggling to sell their cheese and now, cannot promote and celebrate their award-winning produce to consumers.

Not to be beaten, two veterans of the British cheese industry – with a combined 76 years of cheese industry experience – have joined forces to launch the UK’s first Virtual Cheese Awards. The awards will focus on British cheese and include 31 classes which will be expertly judged online with the Category Judging and the Supreme Champion announced in a series of Live online events hosted by Nigel Barden, food and drink broadcaster on 18th July 2020. The Supreme Champion will be announced at 5pm on 18th July 2020.

All profits from the awards will be donated to the Specialist Cheesemakers Association and RABI (Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution) so they can continue to support British farmers and dairy producers.”

This is a fantastic opportunity for cheese lovers to be directly involved on the day to see how judging takes place and hopefully sparks the next generation of cheese lover to get involved. For cheesemakers their product takes centre stage to fans across the internet and captures hungry turophiles across the land!

Sarah De Wit surrounded by delicious cheese

Sarah de Wit, co-founder of the Virtual Cheese Awards and Cheese & Dairy consultant said: “Covid-19 has put paid to all the big cheese shows and along with ongoing challenges cheese producers are facing to sell their produce, there is a real crisis for our much-loved industry. I really wanted to do something positive to help support cheesemakers across Britain and celebrate their fantastic cheeses.

“We want the Awards to be a real celebration of cheese and show some behind the scenes of how cheese is judged and tasted, with some of UK’s most esteemed cheese judges.”

The awards have partnered with Speciality Food magazine, which has offered the Supreme Champion a prize worth £4,000 to boost their business which includes editorial in their magazines including British Food magazine.

Nigel Pooley an expert cheese judge

Nigel Pooley, co-founder of the Virtual Cheese Awards and Cheese Grading & Product Quality Development Manager at Wyke Farms said: “I am passionate about our Great British cheese industry and we hope that these Virtual Cheese Awards will go some way in buoying up a somewhat struggling industry. We have been incredibly proud of the support which has already been shown by cheese producers who have pledged their support, whether to enter their cheeses or to sponsor it so we can make it a success.”

What a great initiative! If you are interested you need to get tickets to watch along on the day so please click here, they are free but the awards are asking for donations. For cheesemakers the deadline is 19th June to submit a cheese for entry and details of where to send the cheese will follow later.

Please do all you can to support this wonderful event and with support from the following companies its already lining up to an event not to be missed.

First Milk
Christeyns
Alpma
Wyke Farms
Ablebox
Wipak
JBC
Dupont
Society Dairy Technology
Sycamore Engineering
Bradburys
Helers
The Co-op
Sponsors of the Virtual Cheese Awards

So grab some cheese, open the wine and follow along on the 18th July!

The Cheesy1

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