Cheese expert Nigel Pooley has received The British Cheese Board (BCB) Nantwich Show Cheese Industry Award in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the UK dairy industry.
Nigel has worked in the dairy industry for 53 years, specialising in grading cheese to ensure that the product on the supermarket shelf is of the highest standard. During his career, Nigel has worked for Wkye Farms, Chewton Dairy Farms, Cricket St Thomas Estate, St Ivel and Unigate Creameries.
Although he officially retired in April this year from his role as Quality Development Manager, Nigel – affectionately known as "Nige the Nose" – is still lending his olfactory powers to family-run Somerset cheese-makers, Wyke Farms, where he has worked for almost 20 years.
Throughout his career, Nigel has graded more than 1.5 million tonnes of Cheddar and due to his unique level of expertise, Wyke Farms ensured his nose was insured for £5 million.
The award was presented on Tuesday afternoon by celebrity chef Sean Wilson at the Nantwich Cheese Show, the largest international cheese show in the world.
Award-winner, Nigel Pooley, said: "Cheese has been my lifelong passion and it is an absolute honour, and complete surprise, to receive this year's Cheese Industry Award. The UK produces some of the finest cheeses in the world and I am incredibly proud to be a part of our great smelling industry."
Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: "Over the course of a five-decade long career, Nigel has been a passionate champion of British cheese. He has done, and continues to do, a tremendous job in ensuring the cheese we eat is of the best possible quality. He is widely recognised throughout the industry and many have gained from his insight and expertise."
Bruce Macdonald, Chairman of the International Cheese Awards, added: "Nigel can only be described as one of the UK's biggest cheese enthusiasts. Throughout his career, Nigel has held a number of esteemed positions and it is great to see him recognised for his lifetime commitment to British cheese. Nigel is one of the best known and admired people in our industry, and is thoroughly deserving of this recognition."