WHEN CHEESE MEETS BEER: ALL MADE IN BRI­TAIN

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Bri­tain pro­duces more than 700 dis­tinct cheeses, us­ing a tra­di­tional method that is pro­tected from cheap im­i­ta­tions un­der the EU Pro­tected Food Names sta­tus. Agri­cul­ture & Hor­ti­cul­ture De­vel­op­ment Board of the UK (AHDB), a levy-funded, not-for­prof­its or­ga­ni­za­tion work­ing on be­half of Bri­tish dairy farm­ers and pro­vides prod­ucts and ser­vice to im­prove sus­tain­abil­ity of Bri­tish dairy farm­ing, aims at bring­ing to­gether Bri­tish Dairy com­pa­nies and sup­port them, as a col­lec­tive, in their ex­ports around the world, whilst in­creas­ing aware­ness of the Bri­tish Brand.

Hong Kong has been se­lected as a key mar­ket since it has few trade bar­ri­ers and is judged as a ma­ture mar­ket with great his­toric links to the UK. With a wealthy pop­u­la­tion of over 7 mil­lion and a sig­nif­i­cant tourism in­dus­try, Hong Kong is a sub­stan­tial high value mar­ket and an im­por­tant one for pre­mium cheeses. Tra­di­tion­ally, there has been a strong bias to­wards French and Ital­ian cheeses, with Bri­tish Cheese only shar­ing 2% of the mar­ket and we are look­ing to in­crease that.

There is also po­ten­tial in Hong Kong as a gate­way to China. Bri­tish food and drinks ex­ports to China have more than dou­bled to £280 mil­lion and dairy prod­ucts are one of the fastest grow­ing cat­e­gories, some­thing we aim to cap­i­tal­ize on.

A spe­cial tast­ing of ar­ti­san Bri­tish cheeses, spon­sored by AHDB, was held last month with Jeremy Evrard, fore­most French cheese ex­pert. Jeremy, for­mer Restau­rant Man­ager of the 3-Miche­lin starred Caprice in the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel and now Gen­eral Man­ager of On Din­ing, gave a pre­sen­ta­tion of the Bri­tish cheeses he had se­lected for pair­ing with the beers, in­clud­ing some Ap­pleby’s Cheshire (The Truf­fler, Golden Ce­narth, Ox­ford Blue and Hawes Wens­ley­dale) and Mont­gomery’s Ched­der (Berk­swell, Ox­ford Isis and Stil­ton Jar).

Lucy Ran­dolph, Se­nior Ex­port Man­ager of AHDB Dairy, wel­comed the guests of around 60 peo­ple from the trade and me­dia to the tast­ing. “We’re very pleased to have Jeremy here to­day to in­tro­duce you to some of the Bri­tish cheeses which are just now com­ing into the Hong Kong mar­ket,” she said. “There are over 700 dif­fer­ent cheeses made in Bri­tain but up un­til now our cheeses have re­mained a closely guarded se­cret so we are look­ing for­ward to show­ing the Hong Kong peo­ple and the rest of the world the qual­ity, va­ri­ety and fan­tas­tic taste of our great of­fer.”

Cheeses on dis­play and for tast­ing were from sev­eral Bri­tish com­pa­nies in­clud­ing Coombe Cas­tle, Lye Cross Farms, Pax­ton & Whit­field, Snow­do­nia and Somerdale Cas­tle. Some of the cheeses are now avail­able in Hong Kong stores, such as Ci­tySu­per and GREAT su­per­mar­kets. Visit https://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/ to learn more about the Bri­tish dairy prod­ucts.

Cheese from Snow­do­nia

Jeremy Evrard in­tro­duces Bri­tish cheese and craft beers pair­ing

Ox­ford Blue, Ap­pleby’s Cheshire

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