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RFA to run cheese-grading courses

Posted 20 June 2011

The Regional Food Academy at Harper Adams will next month begin delivery of a set of cheese-grading courses – possibly the only ones of their kind in the Northern Hemisphere.

To celebrate the launch of the four modules, which can be taken individually or combined to achieve a University College Foundation certificate in Cheese Grading, the RFA is sponsoring two awards at next month’s Nantwich Cheese Show – for the best amateur and best Shropshire blue cheeses.

RFA Manager Martin Anderson said: “Cheese grading is an important role both within large creameries and farmhouse production. It can determine the quality and intended use for a particular batch of cheese and profit of a cheese producer. The process of grading cheese cannot be fully automated and requires a knowledgeable, trained an experienced person to assess the produce.

“This course is designed to introduce students to the requirements of grading cheese and provide continuous professional development for those already experienced in the task. As far as I am aware this is on the only course of its kind in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s certainly the only one in the UK.”

Martin will be at Nantwich Cheese Show on July 27 to present the RFA sponsored prizes. The academy is the trophy sponsor for the Shropshire blue category. Meanwhile, the winner of the best amateur will be able to take one of the four course modules for free:

The modules and the dates they will first be taught are: 

Introduction to Cheese Grading, July 5 and 6

Grading major UK hard cheese varieties, September 13 and 14

Grading soft, blue, specialist UK and continental style cheeses, October 4 and 5

The application of cheese grading, November 1 and 2.

All four must be completed for the University College Foundation Certificate to be awarded.

The courses are all held at the RFA, but can also be run at other venues if required. Extra dates will be put on as required and course dates may vary subject to demand.  

To sign up for the courses, call 01952 815 324 or for more information visit www.regionalfoodacademy.org

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