As the Olympics prepares to kick off, artisan cheese maker, Shepherds Purse of Thirsk, North Yorkshire, is celebrating winning it’s very own Gold medal after scooping a win for its Buffalo Blue cheese at the 115th International Cheese Awards. The industry Awards, held at Dorford Park, Nantwich, Cheshire this week, represent the largest and most cosmopolitan cheese competition in the world. Olde York also picked up a silver medal.

The company’s traditionally handcrafted Buffalo Blue cheese, made with water buffalo milk, won the prestigious Gold medal in the hard or soft blue cheese category and Olde York, the company’s fresh young cheese made with ewe’s milk, picked up the Silver award in the 100 per cent sheep’s milk category.

This year’s competition saw almost 4000 entries from competitors from 27 countries and the entries were judged by a panel of 156 judges from across the dairy industry.

Caroline Bell, director, Shepherds Purse Cheeses said: “We are absolutely thrilled to win this prestigious seal of quality for two of our handmade cheeses at the largest cheese and dairy show in the world. It’s great testament to the whole team at Shepherds Purse and the cheeses we produce”

Richard Paul, show chairman said: “We had record entries and the standard across the board was extremely high. Our panel of judges really did have their work cut out to make their selections. We will now be working hard to educate consumers on what the Awards logo means, that if they spot it on labels they can be safe in the knowledge that it has the seal of approval which guarantees the outstanding quality of the product..”