The ICDA moves with the times

Next month, many in the industry would have been up north in the UK in Nantwich, getting ready to help judge the thousands of cheeses and to report on the International Cheese & Dairy Awards. However, the pandemic has made this a dream for 2021 now.

This is not to say the organisers have not been busy preparing for its future. Ian Luxton, the chairman for the show, says it is moving from the field by Dorfold Hall outside Nantwich, down to Bingley Hall, set in Stafford Showground. The trip down the M6 is about 30 miles, or 50km. The building should provide the cheeses with a bit more protection from the elements, although the tent improved tremendously over the years.

In addition to the cheeses, other types of food products that often accompany cheese will be joining the gathering. This was happening a bit in the past, but one usually had to wander over to another, less insulated tent to obtain the biscuits, chutneys and other products that are nice to have with cheese.

The ICDA is moving from being a pure cheese show, to a full food show, with cheese at its very heart. It will still have the connection to terroir, with some agricultural input, but Luxton says he hopes the new version will be a full “field to fork food experience” for visitors.

It is not easy to fiddle with a proven formula, but sometimes it has to be done in order to set up things up for the future, he notes. The idea is the move will set up the awards for continuing to be a showcase of the best the world has to offer in cheese, while providing ample extensions for growth and public enjoyment. I very much look forward to experiencing it next year on 1 July.

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