Quality Irish dairy products have taken home an impressive haul of prizes from the 2016 International Cheese Awards in the market town of Nantwich, near Manchester, England.
Carbery Group won 17 awards, including the DSM Trophy for the best Single Vintage Cheddar.
Carbery won three gold medal awards in the Vintage Cheese, Extra Mature Cheddar, and Light Cheese categories.
Other significant Irish wins included Ornua’s awards in the Best Mild Cheddar and Best Red Leicester categories, with awards also for Dairygold in the Champion Convenience Cheese and Glanbia Ingredients Ltd in the Best Mature Cheddar categories.
To put Carbery’s success in context, Waitrose was the leading overall winner with 25 Gold Awards. Northern Irish dairy processor Dale Farm took 21 awards.
The overall Supreme Champion 2016 award went to Gert van Leeuwen from Treur Kass, the Netherlands, producers of Jerseyhoeve Schorren aged cheese made from Jersey cow’s milk.
The 2016 Reserve Supreme Champion was Elite Imports with its Grand Noir cheese.
Dermot Curtin, Carbery Group cheese production manager, said: “We were delighted to win a silver medal for our lactose free cheddar, two bronze medals for the cracked black pepper cheddar and a highly commended accolade for our red chilli cheddar.
"As one of Ireland’s leading producers of cheeses for the retail, ingredient and foodservice sectors, it is fantastic to see our cheeses being acknowledged for their quality by our peers in the industry.”
Mr Curtin said the awards were a major boost for Carbery’s plant in Ballineen, Co Cork, one of Ireland’s largest cheese-producing facilities.
The Cork plant produces almost 25% of Ireland’s total annual cheddar cheese output — including products such as the Dubliner brand, cheddar, reduced fat cheeses and Red Leicester.
The International Cheese Awards is the largest cheese show in the world, a highly competitive global event, attracting 5,000 entries from 27 different countries in 2016.
Global cheese-makers and retailers attend the show in huge numbers. The medals are highly prestigious within the dairy industry.
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