Grab your chance to be the nation's big cheese
Farmhouse cheese-makers have been urged to enter this year's Irish Cheese Awards, which opened for entries recently.
Supported by retail trade association SHOP and Sheridans Cheeesemongers, the awards aim to reward excellence in farmhouse cheese production.
This year, the awards are set to be even bigger thanks to the integration of the Sheila Broderick Memorial National Farmhouse Cheese Competition, which traditionally took place at Listowel Food Fair.
The 2012 winners will be announced at SHOP -- Ireland's retail, food, drink and hospitality event, set to run from September 25 to 27 at the RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin.
"There is a phenomenal amount of interest in Irish farmhouse cheese and this is reflected in the growth of the sector, both here at home and abroad," said Kevin Sheridan, from Sheridans Cheesemongers.
"Irish agriculture is one of our truly good news stories.
"The success of Irish cheese reflects how well premium quality-driven produce is received here in Ireland and in export markets.
"The Irish Cheese Awards seek to honour our cheese-makers for the hard work and creativity they put into their products," Mr Sheridan added.