Academy of Cheese expands ‘where to buy’ directory
The Academy of Cheese is looking to add more cheesemongers, delis and cheesemakers to its online directory of businesses selling cheese direct to the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative was set up by the Academy to help struggling artisan cheese businesses, many of whom lost a large portion of their sales overnight due to the closure of the food service sector as lockdown was imposed.
To be considered for free listing, companies should fill out the online form on its directory page.
The Academy initially started sending an e-newsletter to its membership, flagging up some of the various ways people could buy the cheese – including going direct to the makers – as many were left with a large amount of unsold stock.
“As the reality of lockdown struck and cheesemakers had orders cancelled and maturing rooms full of cheese, they very quickly had to innovate and find new routes to sell their cheeses,” said the Academy’s Tracey Colley. “Tales of new online cheese shops reached us and we felt this is something our 2,000+ members would love to know about and support.”
Colley said that, so far, the newsletter and the directory had led to increased sales for numerous businesses.
She added that she will soon be adding links to the shops that sell the cheeses studied for Academy of Cheese Level 1 (25 cheeses) and Level 2 (75 cheeses) qualifications.
The Academy was part of the team behind the Big Cheese Weekender online event, run on the early May Bank Holiday weekend, together with cheese journalist and FFD contributor Patrick McGuigan, the Guild of Fine Food and the Specialist Cheesemakers Association.
You can watch all the action from the weekend here
Retailers and producers interested in joining the AoC directory should visit academyofcheese.org/directory/
Read more industry news and views in the latest edition of Fine Food Digest – read online here.