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The event, which was held for the second time at its new venue in Staffordshire, saw the title of Supreme Cheese Champion awarded to English cheesemakers Long Clawson Dairy for their Shropshire Blue.
Supreme Cheese Champion
Long Clawson Dairy were ecstatic with their big win, after being awarded a series of gold and silver medals across the categories.
Bill Mathieson, managing director of Long Clawson Dairy, told Speciality Food, “At the celebratory 125 years of the International Cheese and Dairy Awards, we were proud to have entered nine classes in total. In each of these nine classes, we won either gold or silver (or both!).
“We won a silver medal for Rutland Red, our traditionally made Red Leicester – cloth bound, buttered and matured for at least six months. We won a gold award for our White Stilton, which is a crumbly British white cheese, and is very different in flavour to its Blue counterpart.
“We then entered into three Blue Stilton categories where we were awarded gold in each of these, and we also won in the category for our Shropshire Blue. All of the producers that had then won gold went into the finals to determine who would win UK Champion.
“At this point, our Long Clawson Dairy Shropshire Blue was judged to be the UK Champion. This was then put head-to-head against the Overseas Champion and the judges had to make a call between which was the best cheese – and to our excitement, our Shropshire Blue was voted top overall out of 4000+ entries into the awards.
“We’re delighted that our small farming cooperative, where the craft and care of our master cheesemakers is so important to us, was recognised through our delicious Shropshire Blue entry. We’re still in high spirits after our win and are busy making space in our awards cabinet for the Supreme Champion Trophy!”
Coming in second place as the reserve for the Supreme Cheese Champion was Freisland Campina, after winning Overseas Champion.
The winners across the categories
The main categories saw wins from across the globe including the UK, New Zealand and France.
Supreme Champion Dairy Product
The Champion UK
Long Clawson Dairy – Shropshire Blue
The Reserve Champion UK
Belton Farm – Coloured Cheshire
The Champion Overseas
Freisland Campina – Arina Matured
The Reserve Champion Overseas
Onetik – Tomme Brebis Chèvre
Cheese Board Awards
This year the International Cheese and Dairy Awards celebrated their 125 anniversary, and the event’s move to Bingley Hall provided an ideal central location in the historically significant milk field according to chairman Ian Luxton. “The social feedback has been exceptionally positive with supportive comments about the number of exhibits, the quality of the chefs and the organisation,” he said.