UK co-op first to market organic cheddar in US

A British dairy co-op is bringing organic cheddar to the US market. Kingdom Organic Cheddar, produced by the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo,) is the first organic European...

A British dairy co-op is bringing organic cheddar to the US market. Kingdom Organic Cheddar, produced by the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo,) is the first organic European cheese to hit American shelves, the company claims.

The cheese won three gold medals at the International Cheese Awards in Nantwich, Cheshire, this year. The competition, one of the most rigorous in the world, features 4,443 cheeses from 26 countries.

More than 200 judges spend two days selecting the world’s top cheeses. Kingdom Organic Cheddar won Gold Awards for Farmhouse/Traditional Mature Cheddar, Export Award, and Cheddar/Cheddar Style.

Nicola Turner, export director at OMSCo, said: “The judges at the International Cheese Awards validated what we have known all along: Kingdom isn’t just the only organic European cheese in the US market, it is the top cheddar in the world.”

Kingdom is traditionally handcrafted and made with milk from a small number of organic farms in Devon, in the southwest of England. “Our cows are kept on a simple grass-based system with little or no stress, giving us beautiful, natural milk,” said Geoff Thorne, one of the farmers who produces milk for Kingdom Cheddar. “Our cows are on pasture more than 10 months each year with green grass comprising more than 80% of their diets.”

The Cheddar is the first cheese in the Kingdom range to launch and will be followed by other British heritage cheeses.

OMSCo, formed in 1994 by a group of five dairy farmers, is Britain’s only 100% organic farmer-owned and farmer-run dairy co-op. It now has over 200 farmer members in locations stretching from Cornwall to Inverness. It is the largest and longest established organic dairy co-op in the UK, with a milk pool of around two thirds of the UK’s organic milk output.

As well as raw organic milk, OMSCo supplies organic bulk dairy ingredients, namely cream, skimmed milk powder, liquid skimmed concentrate and butter. It also produces raw milk and dairy ingredients which comply with US Department of Agriculture organic specifications.

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