Italy to host World Cheese Awards 2019

THE World Cheese Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Food, which is based at Gillingham, Dorset, will take place this year in Bergamo. It will be the first time the world’s leading cheese awards have been held in Italy.

The competition, which attracts thousands of entries from cheese-makers around the world, will be held on Friday 18th October as part of Bergamo’s annual four-day FORME cheese festival. The news was announced at the Palazzo Regione Lombardia in Milan, the main seat of the government for the Lombardy region.

Following the success of the 2018 World Cheese Awards in Bergen, Norway, where records were broken across the board with 3,472 cheeses from 41 different countries being judged in a single day, the 32nd competition will be staged in the Capitale Europea dei Formaggi in the medieval heart of Bergamo, an ancient university city.

The World Cheese Awards will shine a spotlight on Lombardy’s culinary culture, giving the region’s producers an opportunity to showcase their food and drink on a world stage. The FORME festival itself is a celebration of the dairy industry, with tastings, panel discussions, training sessions, markets and an exhibition of all 50 Italian DOP cheeses.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, says: “The World Cheese Awards is extending its international reach year-on-year, so it’s very important for us to partner with like-minded organisations that understand the power and potential of this global cheese gathering.

“Uniting with FORME feels like a very natural fit for us and we’re hugely honoured to be bringing the competition to Bergamo in 2019. It’s a beautiful city with a wealth of cheese heritage.”

Francesco Maroni, president of the Progetto Forme, added: “We are very proud to present the fourth edition of FORME, an event that over the years has been able to impress everyone – institutions, professionals and the public.”

The Italian premiere of the World Cheese Awards, he said, “will serve to promote excellence in production throughout Italy, with the aim of enhancing the reputation of our national cheeses and creating a culture of quality.”

Pictured: John Farrand (far right) with representatives of the Bergamo and Lombardy region and organisers of the FORME cheese festival.