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WALES: Global win for cheese; Farmers' co-op triumphs.

Byline: By DAVID GREENWOOD

BOSSES at a North Wales creamery had plenty to smile about last night after being voted world champion cheese producers.

A vintage cheese scooped gold for South Caernarfon Creameries.

And for good measure the booming farmers' co-operative at Chwilog, near Pwllheli, also picked up two silver awards at the World Cheese Awards.

The prizes came for a mild Cheddar and a medium block Cheddar.

Yesterday the company paid tribute to local farmers, who supply the milk to create the vintage cheese, matured for 18 months and sold under the Old Shire label.

And the creamery's farm liaison manager, Peredur Williams, said Llangollen Food Festival also provided a valuable annual taste test for their products.

He said: "The festival is immensely important to us. It provides us with a wonderful shop window. It also means we are able to come face to face with the customer and is the source of extremely valuable feedback."

The world championship, said Mr Williams, was the high point of the year which also saw the company win a series of regional awards.

He added: "It is an honour to win this kind of award and it shows what we can do in a creamery here in rural North Wales.

"We accept the highest quality milk and turn it into cheese that wins a world award. It is a credit to the staff not only to the ones who prepare it for the competition but also for making it in the first place.

"Unlike many companies, we don't make cheese especially for competitions. This is our usual cheese that can be bought in shops. One of the main secrets is that our raw material is so good and we are very proud of the fact we have milk that is of the highest quality throughout Britain."

The company introduced the Old Shire brand about 10 years ago.

It is popular abroad and is sold in the majority of big UK stores plus small local shops.

The creamery will be attending this year's Llangollen Food Festival, on October 14 and 15.

dgreenwooddp@hotmail.com

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South Caernarfon Creameries (pictured at Llangollen Food Festival) have taken a gold and two silvers in the World Cheese Awards
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 14, 2006
Words:373
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