The World Cheese Awards will visit Italy for the first time, taking place in Bergamo on Friday 18 October 2019, as part of the city’s annual FORME cheese festival. Announced on Thursday 17 January at a the Palazzo Regione Lombardia in Milan, the main seat of the government for the Lombardy region, the news will see the planet’s largest cheese-only competition join a four day celebration of cheese in the Medieval heart of Bergamo.
Following an epic edition of the World Cheese Awards in Bergen, Norway in November 2018, where records were broken across the board with 3,472 cheeses from 41 different countries being judged in a single day, the 32nd edition will now be staged in the Capitale Europea dei Formaggi. Reaching out to cheesemakers and cheese experts in every corner of the globe, this year’s line-up is set to be bigger and more diverse than ever before.
As Bergamo plays host to the international cheese community, the World Cheese Awards will shine a spotlight on Lombardy’s culinary culture, giving the region’s producers an opportunity to showcase their food and drink on a world stage. The FORME festival itself will take consumer and trade visitors on a dairy journey, featuring tastings, panel discussions, training sessions, markets and an exhibition of all 50 Italian DOP cheeses.
John Farrand, managing director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of the World Cheese Awards, commented: “The World Cheese Awards is extending its international reach year-on-year, so it’s very important for us to partner with like-minded organisations that understand the power and potential of this global cheese gathering. Uniting with FORME feels like a very natural fit for us and we’re hugely honoured to be bringing the competition to Bergamo in 2019, a beautiful city with a wealth of cheese heritage. With over 200 of the world’s top cheese people set to fly in for the awards, Bergamo will become the very heart of the cheese world this October and the world will be watching as the city hosts this global celebration of cheese. We’re anticipating yet another record breaking year, hoping to top 3,500 entries for the first time, and are looking forward to working together with the FORME team to create a lasting legacy in the region and raise awareness throughout the food and drink world.”
Francesco Maroni, president of the Progetto Forme, added: “We are very proud to present the fourth edition of FORME, an event that over the years has been able to impress everyone – institutions, professionals and the public. The numbers from last year are already clear: over 40,000 visitors and participants, with 12,000 kilos of cheese sold and tasted at the market.
Without losing sight of the importance of local heritage, this year’s edition will see the Italian premiere of the World Cheese Awards, the most prestigious international competition for the best cheeses in the world. This huge event, alongside the new addition of the B2Cheese fair, will serve to promote excellence in production throughout Italy, with the aim of enhancing the reputation of our national cheeses and creating a culture of quality.”
The World Cheese Awards will take place on Friday 18 October 2019, forming part of the FORME festival, which will run from 18-20 October across a number of Bergamo’s most iconic venues.