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Bergen to host World Cheese Awards 2018, as part of new Norwegian food festival

Amy Brice

(L to R) Bernt Bucher-Johannessen, executive manager of HANEN, John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, Jon Georg Dale, Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, and Gunnar Waagen, chairman of Tingvollost.

(L to R) Bernt Bucher-Johannessen, executive manager of HANEN, John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, Jon Georg Dale, Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, and Gunnar Waagen, chairman of Tingvollost.

Following another record breaking edition of the World Cheese Awards in London last month, the Guild of Fine Food has announced that the competition will be held in Norway for the first time in 2018, in partnership with HANEN, an organisation promoting the best that the Norwegian countryside has to offer. Forming part of a brand new food festival, The Food Country Norway, the 31st annual World Cheese Awards will take place in Bergen on Friday 2 November.

Having shone the spotlight firmly on Norwegian cheese in 2016, when Kraftkar, made by Norwegian producer Tingvollost, was named World Champion Cheese in San Sebastián, next year’s event will give the country’s producers a platform to showcase their food and drink on a world stage. Already designated as a UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy, Bergen will be ready to show off the nation’s culinary class as the planet’s largest cheese-only competition comes to town.

With support from Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Jon Georg Dale, and the Bergen city government, next year’s edition of the World Cheese Awards is set to be bigger than ever. More nations were represented in 2017 than ever before and the organisers are expecting to reach 3,500 entries for the first time next year, as the international curd community gathers once again.

John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, explained:

“In 2016 the World Cheese Awards roadshow was an integral part of San Sebastián celebrating being European Capital of Culture. Following the success and huge international reach achieved by this event, we’re honoured to have been asked by the wonderful city of Bergen to host the 2018 edition there. We expect to hit 3,500 entries in 2018, with more judges than ever travelling from every corner of the globe to join this celebration of cheese makers and cheese people.”

Bernt Bucher-Johannessen, executive manager of HANEN, adds:

“I’m so proud that HANEN has been successful in bringing the competition to Norway. As Bergen holds the title as one of UNESCO’s chosen gastronomy cities, it was a natural choice for hosting the event. The World Cheese Awards will be a fantastic arena for promoting Norwegian local cuisine.”

Norway’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Jon Georg Dale, commented:

“Competitions such as this are important and contribute to bringing Norwegian cheese producers inspiration as well as recognition for their quality products. That is why it’s especially gratifying to host next year’s World Cheese Awards in Bergen. With this event we’ll place Norway on the map both as a food nation and a cheese nation, while providing Norwegian cheese producers with a unique opportunity to parade their products.”

Julie Andersland, commissioner for climate, cultural affairs and business development in Bergen, commented:

“The World Cheese Awards will be a very positive event for Bergen, for business development in our region and to give attention to local food and traditions. As a UNESCO creative city of gastronomy this is the perfect event for us to host.”

This year’s World Cheese Awards took place at Tobacco Dock in London on Friday 17 November, forming part of Taste of London Festive Edition. Cornish Kern, an alpine-style cheese made by the UK’s Lynher Dairies Cheese Company, was crowned World Champion Cheese.

For more information on World Cheese Awards, please visit www.gff.co.uk/awards/world-cheese-awards/.