CheeseAwardsCheddars produced by Glanbia Ingredients Ireland (GII) have won prestigious awards at an international cheese competition. GII, makers of cheeses Wexford Cheddar, Kilmeaden and Avonmore, picked up awards at the 2015 International Cheese Awards held last week in Nantwich, Cheshire, in the northwest of England.

More than 4,600 cheeses from 31 different countries competed for prizes at the awards event, which has been running since 1897.

The Gold Medal and the Tetra Pak Trophy were awarded for cheese from the extra mature range, illustrating the work of GII’s facility in Ballyragget, County Kilkenny, in producing world-class matured and extra matured flavoured cheddars. As well as that, Wexford Cheddar, made at GII’s County Wexford plant, won awards in four categories: Kerrygold Trophy for the Best Irish Cheddar; Co-operative Food Award for Best Mature Cheddar; DSM Trophy for the Best Single Vintage Cheddar; and Best Overseas Cheddar Award.

Jim Bergin, GII’s CEO, said the awards were won against tough international competition. “We have shown that Glanbia Ingredients Ireland’s cheeses are world-beaters in their categories, with a global reputation for taste and quality. Our focus will continue to be on scaling the international reach of our products and maintaining high standards of quality,” said Mr Bergin.

Jim O’Neill, GII’s Operations Director, said the awards attest to the professionalism of staff in GII’s cheese manufacturing facilities in Wexford and Kilkenny. “The awards demonstrate our high production standards, the calibre of our cheese manufacturers and facilities, and the quality of supply from local farmers. The Wexford Cheddar brand is quickly gaining global market share, especially in the Middle East, so the awards for quality will strengthen the brand’s value proposition,” said Mr O’Neill.

GII is Ireland’s leading dairy ingredients company, processing almost two billion litres of milk, or 30% of Ireland’s milk pool, into a range of dairy ingredients for export to more than 60 countries. Ireland is the world’s 10th largest dairy export nation, exporting 85% of all dairy outputs. Recent figures place export values for Irish dairy products and ingredients at more than €3 billion.