Virtual Cheese Awards announces 2022 judging panel

The Virtual Cheese Awards, a UK based entirely virtual event which celebrates Great British cheese, has announced its line up of ‘big cheese’ judges for its third year. British cheesemakers have until 20 March 2022 to get their entries in.

Supermarkets are the number one shopper destination for cheese and in a post-pandemic world, consumers are increasingly looking for new and innovative British cheese to try. Retail cheese and dairy buyers are therefore an important gatekeeper to quality and innovation. The awards have partnered with some of the UK’s most respected cheese buyers, including Alan Kirby, cheese buyer at Booths, Chris Dawson, senior cheese buyer at M&S and Russell Haggata, technical category manager for cheese at Morrisons.

The Virtual Cheese Awards have pioneered a transparent judging process which allows cheese makers to see their entries judged up close and personal live online.

It has also announced four new Excellence Awards to celebrate the people behind the cheese; Young Cheesemaker, Cheese Hero and New Cheesemaker awards. Anyone can nominate an individual or business free of charge. There is also an award recognising sustainability in the dairy industry which is sponsored by Wyke Farms.

Sarah de Wit, founder of Virtual Cheese Awards said, “We’re incredibly lucky that so many of the UK’s most prominent and experienced cheese experts are joining our judging panel this year. This is testament to the fantastic quality and innovation that is flourishing in our great British cheese industry. I urge cheesemakers to get their entries in asap and be part of this celebration of cheese.”

Britain has a wealth of cheesemongers and experts who are at the forefront of promoting the best of British cheese. Some of which make up the panel in the form of: Hero Hirsh, Paxton & Whitfield; Perry Wakeman, Rennet & Rind; Bronwen Percival, Neals Yard Dairy; Morgan McGlynn, Cheese of Muswell Hill; Emma Young, Cheese Explorer; Nikki Phelp, Harvey & Brockless; Ruth Holbrook, The Newt and former Paxton & Whitfield head of wholesale; Jayne Hicken Botham, Dee Dairy and Terry Hudson.

National radio broadcaster, Nigel Barden, will again host the live final on Friday 13 May.

The new Excellence awards will help celebrate the diversity and quality of British dairy and promote what is an exciting and thriving industry for future cheesemakers to join.

The Virtual Cheese Awards’ live final will be held on Friday 13 May 2022. Entries are open now and close on Sunday 20th March 2022.

The Virtual Cheese Awards Best of British cheese prize includes:

  • Free editorial features and digital coverage in Speciality Food magazine and Great British Food magazine worth £4,000
  • Opportunity to have the winning cheese showcased at the Speciality & Fine Food Fair by the VCA team worth approximately £5,000
  • A Level 1 Academy of Cheese courses and a year’s subscription worth over £300
  • A pair of return Eurostar tickets

For more information on the Virtual Cheese Awards go to:

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