Cheese producing members of the British Cheese Board – an
organisation funded by its members and the MDC - scooped a record
number of awards at this year’s Royal Bath and West Show
(30th May – 2nd June 2006).
One of the highlights was BCB member Cricketer Farm, based near
Bridgwater in Somerset, who was awarded The Mathews and Skalies
Perpetual Challenge Cup as the overall champion cheese for their
This award was one of more than 93 awards secured by BCB members
at the show in a year that saw a record number of entries. And
it outstripped the 75 awards won by BCB members at the Bath and
West Show in 2006.
A further 11 special awards were secured by BCB members including Denhay Farms,
Alvis Brothers and Wensleydale Dairy Products.
“BCB members had a very high profile at the show this
year,” says Board secretary Nigel White. “The BCB
stand gave out samples of members’ cheese to visitors so
they had a chance to try the different cheeses. Many visitors
then went to individual members’ stands to buy some of
“The overall success at the Bath and West demonstrates
the benefit of BCB’s work in representing its members by
promoting cheese and educating people in cheese through timely
and relevant campaigns.” BCB has 38 members who collectively
represented around half of all the hard and soft cheese made
“We have seen the consumption of British cheese increase
by 2% to 3% in each of the past four years and the work of BCB
has contributed to this success. MDC funding, which matches that
given by members, has meant that the messages can be far-reaching
and highly prominent,” adds Mr White.
The Milk Development Council (MDC) is a public body which was
set up in 1994 (after the disbanding of the milk boards) to pick
up essential services for dairy farmers that would not otherwise
be provided. These services include the genetic evaluation of
dairy breeding stock, research and development into better ways
of producing milk, and the stimulation and development of the
market for milk.
The MDC is funded by a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm,
at the rate of 0.06p per litre. This provides an annual income
of around £7m.
The MDC’s current focus is on improving the profitability
of dairy farming by focusing on three specific areas:
and consumer education to stimulate demand and create more
value in the dairy ‘category’
- Better supply chain
relationships that ensure farmers as well as processors and
retailers can enjoy a sustainable share of the profits
milk production to help farmers realise better margins in the
short term and increase their ability to compete in European
markets in the long term.
The MDC co-funds the industry’s nutritional and issues
management resource – The Dairy Council – with
the processors’ trade body Dairy UK.
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