Cheese and much more

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall share a joke with Chief Steward of the Cheese and Dairy section Jayne Hickinbotham
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall share a joke with Chief Steward of the Cheese and Dairy section Jayne Hickinbotham
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An array of almost every dairy product imaginable can be seen in the Great Yorkshire Cheese and Dairy Show. Entries to the competitive classes have been received from across the globe ensuring that the quantity and quality will be as high as ever.

Nigel Pulling, chief executive said: “Over the last decade the cheese and dairy section has grown both in prestige and in the quality of entries. We’re particularly proud to have Royal approval, in that we offer The Prince of Wales Award for Outstanding Quality to dairy products which are the pinnacles of perfection, and shining examples of excellence.”

The section celebrated its 10th birthday last year and now boasts about 800 entries, with classes for cheese, milk, ice cream, cream, yoghurt and butter. Awards are as diverse as the Best Speciality Product, Best Dressed Dairy Product and Champion Retailer but the Supreme Dairy Championship is the ultimate accolade. New for this year is the Best Raw Milk Cheese Trophy, which will be selected from the section champions.

The Consumers’ Choice classes are always popular, with opportunities to see what it takes to be an expert.

“This is one area of the show where you can see multinationals, including the supermarkets and large dairy companies, competing with small artisan producers and individual farmers and as it should be, it’s the quality which counts,” said Jayne Hickinbotham, the section manager.

Judges include Maurice Johnson, UK marketing manager of Interprofession du Gruyere, John Pearson and Tom Walker, Mrs Philippa Godden of Waitrose who is judging the Cheese Quality Award, plus Mrs Zelica Carr, chief executive of the Ice Cream Alliance.

This year there is a packed programme of talks, demonstrations and events. On Tuesday afternoon there will be an “Ask the Judges” session and Wednesday will see a new feature: “The Cheese Event” for the public and commercial buyers alike.

New on Thursday is The Big Cheese Auction when whole cheeses will come under the hammer, with all proceeds going to charity.