Alan Lyons, head of shows, about the British Cheese Awards; Maria Velissariou, chief science and technology officer at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), on climate change; Dr Julius Adubango, project coordinator for Send a Cow Uganda; and Society of Dairy Technology president, Dr Paul Bouchier, on the upcoming spring conference in Cookstown, Northern Ireland.
We also have our weekly look at the global dairy markets with Liam Fenton from INTL FCStone.
Institute of Food Technologists
As if coronavirus wasn’t enough of a challenge, many parts of the world are experiencing adverse weather conditions, some brought about by a changing global climate. Climate change is also important to consumers.
Maria Velissariou, the IFT’s chief science and technology officer, recently issued a statement on the urgency of the issue.
“The climate urgency is no longer an abstract concept. It has been discussed and debated, written about in reports, questioned by talking heads, but today, we know that it is real, and its effects are being felt,” Velissariou said.
“A global phenomenon, climate change is multi-dimensional, and it is manifesting itself across various regions in different ways, such as droughts in Africa and floods in the US. We have reduced the planet’s ability to recover and regenerate with far-reaching consequences, including potential food insecurity and the erosion of the food supply as we know it.
“By causing our food supply to become unreliable and stressing its efficiency, the global population is at a very real risk. The complex nature of this issue requires an acceleration in partnership efforts from multiple stakeholders, including government, academia, industry, nonprofit, and ultimately the community at large.”
She added that sustainable agriculture processes that rely less on water and lower carbon footprint, nutrient-dense products in food-insecure regions, environmentally sustainable packaging, and reduction of food loss and waste are some of the many priorities.
“Science is an essential solution. And yet, so is swift action. Action requires the commitment of the global community to shift human behavior in order to generate rapid change that will positively impact our planet and help prevent the climate-induced catastrophes that we are increasingly witnessing.”
The IFT, formed in 1939, is an international not-for-profit scientific society of professionals in the food science and food technology sectors, as well as in academia and government. It has more than 17,000 members from around 100 countries.
British Cheese Awards 2020
The British Cheese Awards is open for entries from across the UK for the 2020 Awards which will be held on May 28, at The Royal Bath & West Show, Somerset.
Seventy judges will score each cheese on presentation, texture, aroma, flavor and balance. Top cheeses will receive gold, silver or bronze medals based on its score.
Farmhouse and artisan cheesemakers through to large-scale producers can enter cheeses.
The award event, which is twice the size of previous years, also allows the public to watch the judging, and they can also taste and vote for their own favorite cheese in the People’s Choice Award.
One cheese will be named Supreme Champion from the winners of each of nine category awards including Best Territorial, Best Blue, Best Cheddar and Best Blue Cheese. The best cheeses in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland will also be recognized.
The British Cheese Awards were established in 1994 by Julia Harbutt to celebrate the renaissance in British cheesemaking and to raise awareness of British cheeses. There were almost 900 entries from more than 120 cheesemakers in 2019.
Julius Longman, chairman of the British Cheese Awards, said, “The British Cheese Awards demonstrate the quality and diversity of cheesemaking in the UK. We are proud that these Awards give producers recognition and accreditation from their peers and industry experts. It’s always a wonderful event, topped off with a fantastic celebratory dinner.”
Application forms are available here
The entry deadline is Friday, April 10, 2020.
Send a Cow Uganda – Living With Wildlife
Dr Julius Adubango is a project coordinator for Send a Cow Uganda. He has been working to improve people's lives in northern Uganda for more than 10 years, through the Send a Cow program, which helps people in communities grow their own food.
Adubango was in the UK recently to talk about – and raise funds for – Living With Wildlife, a joint project between Send a Cow and Tusk.
In Uganda, poverty is threatening the country’s oldest and largest National Park; Murchison Falls.
Families living around the park are struggling to live. Food is scarce and income opportunities are extremely rare. With limited sources of food or income, some people lay traps in the hope of catching bushmeat to feed their families, and sell in the local markets. But traps are indiscriminate and wildlife such as the endangered Rothschild’s Giraffe are getting caught instead, becoming maimed or even killed.
The Living with Wildlife partnership aims to improve the skills of those in local communities adjoining the park, creating new livelihood opportunities to lift people out of poverty and protect wildlife. The Appeal will also fund conservation work so that local communities appreciate the wildlife and become guardians of Murchison Falls National Park.
Donations to the Living with Wildlife Appeal made before April 14 will be matched by the UK government.
Society of Dairy Technology spring conference
The Society of Dairy Technology (SDT) will be holding its spring conference at the Loughry Campus, CAFRE, in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, on April 29 and 30. The conference theme is ‘The Dairy Industry in 2020 and Beyond.’
The first day features a site visit and the conference dinner; the second is conference presentations as well as a tour of the pilot plant at the CAFRE campus.
There will also be trade booths at the event.
The program is suitable for a range of backgrounds including product development, operations, engineering, research, technical and quality functions in the dairy industry and allied industries (ingredient, equipment, chemical suppliers and retailers).
More information on the event, including registration, can be found here.