MADISON, WIS. – The best products the dairy processing industry has to offer can now be submitted for the next World Championship Cheese Contest.

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association (WCMA), which has hosted the biennial competition since 1957, announced Nov. 1 that the contest opened its entry process for not only cheese makers, but also dairy producers who specialize in yogurt, dry dairy ingredients and other categories.

A technical dairy evaluation that in 2022 drew 2,978 entries, the World Championship Cheese Contest in 2024 will include 142 classes of dairy products, all of which will be evaluated by what WCMA described as an elite team of world-renowned judges.

“The world’s best dairy processors compete in the World Championship Cheese Contest to foster quality manufacture within their teams, gain valuable feedback from our expert judges, and market coveted gold, silver and bronze wins to their customers,” said John Umhoefer, executive director at WCMA.

At the most recent edition of the competition in 2022, Gourmino Le Gruyère, made by Michael Spycher of Mountain Dairy Fritzenhaus in Bern, Switzerland, won the top honor with a score of 98.423. 

WCMA shared that the scoring process begins with 100 points available for each product, and as the judges examine each entry, they deduct for defects related to flavor, body and texture, salt, color, finish, and packaging. The three highest-scoring products in each class earn gold, silver and bronze medals, while only the gold medal cheeses are in the running for the title of World Champion Cheese.

The contest’s organizers added this year a new value rate for entries submitted by Dec. 1 – WCMA said the first month of submissions will be accepted at a rate of $75 per entry, while the cost moves to $90 per product after that.

Additional information on the contest is available online at the competition’s website, where dairy processors can submit their entries through Jan. 26, 2024. The judging for the 2024 World Championship Cheese Contest will take place March 5-7, 2024, at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison, Wis.