Artisan category at Frome cheese awards

THE Global Cheese Awards, part of the annual Frome Agricultural and Cheese Show, which has been held every year since 1861 (apart from 2020), will be back, on 11th September, with a new cheese section aimed specifically at artisan producers.

The pandemic stopped both the show and the Global Cheese Awards as well as damaging the livelihoods of many smaller cheesemakers. To help the recovery of the specialist cheesemaker community, the Global Cheese Awards are changing to make them more relevant to smaller, artisan producers. Chris Stilton, chairman for 13 years, is stepping down and the new chairman, reflecting the more artisan approach, is Marcus Fergusson, of Feltham’s Farm, maker of the award-winning Renegade Monk and La Fresca Margarita.

He says: “The renaissance in artisan cheese production is one of the great success stories of the past two decades but it has been badly hit by Covid. We want to help artisan producers bring their wonderful cheeses to wider public attention.

“We are introducing more than 40 new classes with lower entry fees that will be restricted to producers who make less than five tonnes per week. This will hugely increase the opportunity for artisan producers to win awards that they can then use to promote their business.”

The existing production classes aimed at the bigger producers will remain while overseas entries will still be welcomed, giving the awards their global twist. An additional class will be introduced for members of the Specialist Cheesemakers Association.

Pictured: The old days – a historic photograph of cheese-judging at Frome; ©Frome Agricultural Society