Success for Northern Ireland at International Cheese Awards

Two Northern Ireland food companies have won major awards at the recent International Cheese and Dairy Awards 2021 in Britain, one of the biggest events in the European dairy calendar.

The local winners were:

Burren Balsamics, Richhill, county Armagh was awarded gold for its Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar of Modena; and

Dromona Cheese from Dale Farm, Belfast which won the Volac Trophy for the Best Medium Creamery Block Cheddar, the ICDA Champion as the UK Creamery for its block cheddar. Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s biggest farmers’ dairy co-operative, which produces cheese near Cookstown, county Tyrone, also won two golds for mature and medium cheddar and six silvers for its range of cheddars.

The International Cheese and Dairy awards is now regarded as the world’s largest platforms to champion world class producers.

Held at the Staffordshire Show Ground, Stafford the awards attracted over 5,000 entries from across the world.

Success at the show provides high profile recognition from independents, retailers and food service companies throughout the world.  They support winners through their marketing and social campaign to increase consumer awareness and ultimately sales.

The awards can be traced back to the original cheese show, which was founded in 1897 when the Cheshire Agricultural Society, which had been holding shows for some years at different venues in the county, splitting the county into four shows in their own right, one of which was Nantwich & Northwich, and in 1903 the show was held under its own auspices and with no link to the Cheshire Agricultural Society.

In 2009 the Nantwich Cheese Show was re-branded to the International Cheese Awards. It moved to Stafford this year.

The International Cheese Awards is organised and run by a committee of volunteers contributing expertise from the dairy and cheese industries as well as event management, sponsorship, PR and Marketing industries.

An important aspect of the awards, which has grown rapidly over the past two years has been the Cheese Accompaniment Classes, such as preserves, chutneys, artisan breads, cheese biscuits, olives, wine, beer, Charcuterie (Everything connected with eating great cheese!).

The Cheese Board Awards reflect the growing interest in accompaniments for various types of cheeses.

The organisers say the Cheese Board Awards will become exactly what the ICDA has become but for everything that makes cheese an even better experience.