Following a 5.8 per cent value growth in British cheese sales abroad, Food from Britain (FFB) aims to stimulate foreign interest at Cheese 2003 in Italy this year.
Of the 390,000 tonnes of cheese produced in Britain every year, approximately 82,000 tonnes is exported. This contributes £154 million to the total value of the British cheese market, worth a total of £1.5 billion.
Cheese lovers from all over the globe are set to crowd the streets and piazzas of Bra in northern Italy later this month for the Slow Food Festival of Cheese 2003.
The participation of British producers, co-operatives and cheesemongers such as Quicke's Traditional, Handmade Cheese of Scotland, Cheeses from Wales and British Cheese Award Winners will be taking more than 40 varieties of artisan cheese from Britain to over 130,000 trade and consumer visitors expected in the town from 19-22 September.
Charlotte Lawson, director of UK and business services at FFB, said: "The additional funding we received from the government to promote Britain's fantastic range of regional food and drink has allowed us to really step up our promotional activity both here and abroad. Cheese 2003 provides producers with the ideal opportunity to demonstrate the taste and quality of their superb range of cheese to both consumer and trade buyers. We are delighted to have been able to help so many small British companies to get involved."
The FFB in conjunction with the Slow Food UK and Neal's Yard Dairy, are to present British Cheddar and Stilton, as well as other renowned varieties such as Cornish Yarg, Stinking Bishop, Innes Button, Single Gloucester, Carola and Berkswell, for tasting and sale within The Cheese Market.