Guild seeks sponsors for top level ‘Master of Cheese‘ qualification
The Guild of Fine Food is seeking £25,000 in trade sponsorship to fund development of a European version of the Certified Cheese Professional (CCP) qualification run in the United States by the American Cheese Society (ACS).
The CCP, launched in 2012, is considered the equivalent of the globally admired Master of Wine qualification, overseen by the UK’s Wine & Spirit Education Trust. Only 200 people so far hold the US cheese qualification.
It is aimed chiefly at specialist cheesemongers who have worked in the sector for several years and can prove a deep knowledge, both of the product and the supply chain that takes it from dairy to consumer.
Its development in the US has been heavily backed by Whole Foods Market, which has over 350 sites and aspires to eventually have a CCP-qualified expert working in every shop.
The effort to bring a CCP equivalent to Britain has been driven by Mary Quicke of farmhouse cheese-maker Quickes Traditional, along with Guild managing director John Farrand.
Paxton & Whitfield and distributor Harvey & Brockless (formerly Cheese Cellar) are among those who have joined a steering group to move the project forward.
In the US, candidates have a once-a-year opportunity to sit a CCP examination at the annual ACS conference. There is no formal study package, but the ACS has a number of ‘licensed educators’ to help candidates amass the necessary knowledge, with help from courses and visits to cheese-makers.
John Farrand said the ACS was fully supporting the development of an EU version of CCP, geared to European cheeses and to the very different supply chain on this side of the Atlantic. It will be sharing some of its intellectual property with the Guild, so the European CCP will not have to be developed from scratch.
The Guild is now seeking industry backers to fund customisation of the US learning materials, production of an EU learning guide, promotion and project management of the course, with five £5,000 sponsorship packages available.
Companies interested in supporting the project should email John Farrand in the first instance.