More hardware for Bothwell Cheese.
Mike Raftis, Vice President of Sales and Marketing says last week they competed at the 90th annual British Empire Cheese Show in Toronto. The company won Grand Champion and Highest Scoring Cheddar for its 2-year-old Cheddar and first place for its Non-GMO Project Verified Medium Cheddar.
In addition to that, they also took second place for their Mild Cheddar and third place for their Marble Cheddar.
"This year we did exceptionally well," says Raftis. "Couldn't ask for a better result."
The Central Ontario Cheesemaker Association was incorporated as a non-profit organization on August 29, 1928. The Association established the British Empire Cheese Show, giving cheese makers the opportunity to compete with others around the British Empire. Raftis says this is the longest running cheese show in Canada.
"For us, it is a very important show as the judges are all fellow cheese makers, industry professionals so we're being graded and judged by our peers," explains Raftis. "It's very high-quality caliber of judging that's done."
Raftis says there are about 30 different companies that compete in this show. He says historically about 200 kinds of cheese are entered in the show.
Bothwell Cheese started in 1936 by a group of local dairy farmers. In 81 years it has grown from a small dairy cooperative to one of Canada's largest independently owned cheese manufacturers. Bothwell Cheese prides itself on providing Canadians with premium cheese made with all-natural ingredients and 100 percent pure Canadian milk.
Raftis says last week's showing proved that after 81 years, Bothwell Cheese is still at the top of its game and still producing quality cheese. He says it also means a lot to staff to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed.
The Non-GMO Project Verified Medium White Cheddar which Bothwell Cheese took home first place for, has not yet hit the shelves. Raftis says it will be launched next month. He explains they have two local farms that are verified by the Non-GMO Project, feeding cows only Non-GMO crops.
"That's a new product for us and to come home with a first place win right before we're about to launch the product is a good achievement for us," he says.