The New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards have announced the appointment of new Master Judge, Scott Bolch.

Run by the New Zealand Specialist Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA), judging is set for February 2021, making it the 18th consecutive year of the awards when Scott Bolch takes over as Master Judge.

Scott has worked in the dairy industry for more than 27 years and for most of that time he has used his experience to judge various cheese and dairy competitions in his spare time.

For the past eight years he’s been on the judging team for Australia’s most prestigious industry accolade – The Australian Grand Dairy Awards. Bolch has also been a regular judge at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards, judging over the past four years. Bolch, who lives in Tasmania, works for dairy industry supplier CHR Hansen as Australia and New Zealand Business Manager of Food Cultures and Enzymes.

“It’s a privilege to be invited to undertake this role. I look forward to supporting the judges during the awards assessment, being a sounding board and providing technical expertise to help them judge. I think the NZSCA Board has done a tremendous job reinvigorating the technical aspects of the competition and attracting competent and passionate judges,” said Bolch.

“Good product starts with the environment and New Zealand has lush green pasture and happy cows. When their premium milk is blended with quality ingredients, production excellence and strong systems it makes amazing cheese. On the global scene New Zealand cheese is up there with the very best. As the master judge I have one of the best jobs in the country tasting and critiquing New Zealand’s finest cheeses.”

Scott Bolch acknowledged former Master Judge, Russell Smith who headed up judging for eight years.

“I’ve been a technical judge alongside Russell for many years in Australia and New Zealand and hold his knowledge in high regard.”

NZSCA Chair, Neil Willman welcomed Scott to the role and also thanked Russell for his many years serving the New Zealand cheese industry. Judging for the 2021 is scheduled for Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 February with the Trophies announced at the NZ Champions of Cheese Awards in Hamilton

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