World Cheese Awards entry dates announced

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The event takes place in Oviedo, Spain, in November.
The event takes place in Oviedo, Spain, in November.

Related tags: Cheese

The World Cheese Awards will open for entry from August 23, with organizers, the Guild of Fine Food, inviting cheesemakers across the globe to submit products to be judged by an international panel of 230 experts from 30 different countries.

Dedicated only to cheese, the 33rd World Cheese Awards will take place in Oviedo on Wednesday, November 3, as part of the Asturias Paraíso Natural International Cheese Festival 2021, run by the Instituto del Queso, in partnership with the Principality of Asturias and the City Council of Oviedo.

Following a difficult time for cheesemakers over the past 18 months, the organizers said they are anticipating a greater number of entries than ever before, so are encouraging producers to submit their cheeses before the entry cap is reached. Up to 4,000 cheeses from six continents are expected to line up in Oviedo.

The World Cheese Awards will be at the heart of the International Cheese Festival; a four-day festival dedicated to cheese. From November 3 to 6, 2021, Oviedo’s Palacio de Exposiciones y Congresos will provide the setting for the event. 

Building upon the Asturias region’s rich cheesemaking heritage, the festival will present events for both trade and consumer visitors, including an exhibition, the 2nd Scientific Forum for Dairy Innovation, tours of the World Cheese Awards judging arena, experimental tasting sessions, an Asturex Agrifood Forum, an Origin Zone (exploring European Quality Schemes such as PGIs and PDOs), a cheese market and a Gastro Cheese Comedy line-up.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, said, “The World Cheese Awards’ return to Spain will be a huge moment for the international cheese community, not only giving us the opportunity to reunite, but also to celebrate the resilience of an industry that’s had to dig deep to weather the global pandemic.

“Innovation has flourished in adversity, so we’re expecting an exciting array of new cheeses to be entered this year, but it will also give us great pleasure to witness the return of more established cheeses from around the world, having survived trials and tribulations of COVID-19. With entries from around 40 different countries, this will be a truly international contest, but we’re expecting a strong showing from the hosts too – with 300 cheeses produced in Asturias, I’m confident a fair few accolades will be heading their way.”​    

Luisa Villegas, Asturias Paraíso Natural International Cheese Festival director and CEO of Instituto del Queso, said, “The directive committee is very pleased with the international interest that the festival has created. We are having a great impact on the international dairy community, with so many cheesemakers excited to compete to be named the World Champion Cheese 2021 in Oviedo. Moreover, the Asturias Paraíso Natural International Cheese Festival is a great indicator of cheese as a way of instigating economic growth. In line with this, we are working with dairy professionals to establish a scientific approach to future alimentation, creating recognizable value from the festival.”

World Cheese Awards entries are open until September 23, unless the entry cap is reached before this date. Producers can enter online at www.gff.co.uk/wca​. 

Related topics: Markets, Cheese

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