The World Cheese awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food in the UK, is the largest global cheese-only event bringing together cheesemakers, retailers, buyers, consumers, media, and food experts, to honour approximately 4,000 cheeses from across the globe and celebrate the best in cheesemaking.
Irish cheese is among the best in the world and every year numerous Irish cheeses enter this prestigious event and bring home awards including in 2022, Super Gold for Organic Cashel Blue, and Gold for Simply Better 12-month matured Comte AOC made by the Traditional Cheese Company; Dunnes Stores Simply Better Coolea (9-15 Months Matured); and Macroom Buffalo Greek Style Cheese 180g. Plus many other Irish cheeses winning silver and bronze trophies.
Entries are now open to all submissions and closing date is 8 September, 2023 (submissions will close early if the maximum number of entries is reached before the deadline - hence, early entry is recommended).
The 35th World Cheese Awards event is part of the Oste V-M cheese festival at Trondheim Spektrum, Norway and will be supported by HANEN, the national organisation for rural tourism and farm produce in Norway. Taking place from 27th-28th October, Oste V-M will see 4,000 food and cheese lovers come together for cheese tastings, family activities and a trade conference. The Guild of Fine Food will also be organising a World Cheese Market around the judging arena on both days of the event and special tasting tours around the World Cheese Awards arena on Saturday, 28 October.
The awards itself will be attended by 250 judges from more than 38 different countries. Last year’s record-breaking event brought together cheeses representing 42 different nations and 900 cheesemakers from around the world.
Cheesemakers wanting to compete should head to www.gff.co.uk/wca to enter. Global consolidation points have been organised by the Guild of Fine Food, to receive entries from cheesemakers and transport them to the judging venue, under controlled conditions. This makes it easier for entrants, especially smaller producers, to send their cheeses internationally, as the consolidation points will assist with export paperwork and provide a convenient local point for cheesemakers to deliver their cheese. The consolidation points are totally unique to the World Cheese Awards and no other competition has such a far-reaching network offering safe and subsidised delivery for entries.
Cheese producers earn recognition through Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Super Gold awards, as well as coveted country and cheese-specific trophies. Working in teams of two or three, the judges identify any cheeses worthy of a gold, silver, or bronze award. They look at the rind and the body of the cheese, its colour, texture, consistency and, most importantly, its taste. Each team then nominates one exceptional cheese as the Super Gold from their table.
These exceptional cheeses are identified as the best in the world and go on to be judged a second time by a ‘Super Jury’ made up of 16 internationally recognised experts, who each select one cheese to champion in the final round of judging. The jury then debate the final cheeses in front of a live consumer and trade audience, before choosing the World Champion Cheese live on WCA TV, with cheese lovers and enthusiasts from around the globe tuning in to watch the event unfold.