Cheeses produced by Level 5 apprentice dairy technologists on our Eden programme and by industry delegates on a bespoke cheese making course won a magnificent haul of awards at the Nantwich International Cheese Show, proving we manufacture cheeses which are among the best in the world!

Cheeses made in our industry standard food processing halls took two golds, one silver and one bronze award at the biggest cheese festival in the world, which this year attracted over 5000 entries from over 30 countries – all competing for coveted rosettes. All classes are highly competitive and winning entries must be outstanding in flavour, texture and taste. Judging takes over five hours!

Our awards were:

GOLD in the Student Cheesemaker class with a Cheddar cheese made by Eden apprentices Ben Morris (Glanbia), Zac Lethbridge (Arla), Deborah Richards (Muller) and Sam Yearsley (Arla). The judges’ comments were that the cheese was well presented with underlying savoury notes, a good balance of lasting flavour and good fat distribution.

GOLD for a Derby cheese in the Specialist Cheesemakers’ Section (Best territorial hard cheese). This was made by Eden apprentices Will Mcelvogue (Arla), Zoltan Simko (Arla), Iftekar Rahman (Arla), Gintare Jonuitiene (Muller), Marcin Sapolski (Arla) and Marnie Ponsford (Arla)

SILVER in the Student Cheesemaker Class with a Derby cheese made by the same team as above

BRONZE in the Specialist Cheesemakers’ Section (Best territorial crumbly cheese) with a Cheshire cheese made by delegates on a bespoke course for Tetra Pak.

Recognition must go to Food Manufacturing Lecturer Debbie Heritage-Brill and Technician Sue Moors, who delivered top class practical cheese making training to the apprentices, and to Senior Technologist Jenny Tait, who selected the cheeses for judging.

Processing Halls Manager Michael Bennett said: “A massive well done to all the team involved in manufacturing products which we can now definitely say are among the best cheeses in the world!”

Head of Food Nick Blakemore added: “I am delighted with our success and very proud of the Food Centre team who worked tirelessly with the apprentices and Tetra Pak delegates to produce cheeses worthy of awards at the world’s most prestigious cheese show.”

The Eden programme is a unique education initiative driven and supported by leading dairy companies including Arla, Muller and Dairy Crest which recognise the importance of investing in talented employees.

Level 5 apprentice dairy technologists attend Reaseheath on a block release basis to study for an internationally recognised Foundation Degree in Dairy Technology. The programme includes practical sessions in our industry standard dairy processing halls.

Over 10 Eden apprentices also gained invaluable experience by stewarding during judging day, which is dedicated to trade professionals. This gave them a superb opportunity to support and learn from top judges, network with senior industry professionals, gain an overview of global dairy manufacturing and to taste some seriously good cheeses!

Our Commercial Development Co-ordinator Julie Bent is a member of the organising committee for the International Cheese Awards and attends meetings throughout the year, helping to ensure its success. She is instrumental in the popular celebrity chef demonstrations and in organising our stand within the cheese marquee, which informs the public about cheesemaking and sells Reaseheath butter and cheese.

Sadly the Nantwich Agricultural Show, which runs alongside the cheese awards, was cancelled due to waterlogged ground.