Cobden Timboon Coast Times
International success for cheesemakers

APOSTLE Whey Cheese owners Julian and Dianne Benson toasted their success on the world stage last week.

The Cooriemungle business owners were notified last Monday their brie, which was named the best in Australia in February, had now won gold at the International Cheese and Dairy Awards in Nantwich, England.

Mr Benson said the success of their Southern Briez was significant, but he was also “pretty rapt” their Bolte’s Bonanza blue cheese had also won a silver medal at the awards.

“It’s my personal favourite and it’s one of our best sellers – so is our brie for that matter,” he said.

“For them both to pick up awards at our first international awards is a real thrill.

“I didn’t think we’d done any good, because the judging took place back in July – then the next thing I know I got the mail yesterday (last Monday) and we had two awards inside.”

The global cheese and dairy awards have been held at Nantwich since 1987.

This year there were more than 5000 entries from 30 countries.

Mr Benson said he was yet to receive any judging details, other than notification Southern Briez had been awarded gold in the ‘brie style’ category and Bolte’s Bonanza had won silver in the ‘waxed blue vein’ category.

“Winning the Australia Grand Dairy Award is probably more cherished, because it means we have the best brie in the country. But going over to a world wide competition and earning gold and silver awards is also very significant,” he said.

“I think with all this GI (geographical identifications) malarkey going on where Europe is trying to ban us from using words like brie, feta and camembert, that it’s great to go over there and show them that Australian cheese is just as good as theirs.

“After winning the Australian award, we wanted to see how we were going globally. Anyone can enter, there’s no prerequisites...if you want to benchmark yourself you just pay the entry fee and send your cheese off.”

Mr Benson thanked his staff for its ongoing support.

“These results are great recognition for our team here at Apostle Whey Cheese in Cooriemungle and we’re really quite proud to know that what we produce here is just as good as the heavily subsidised EU products coming into Australia,” he said.