At the end of last year, the British cheese industry reported a bumper decade of growth. In fact, the UK cheese export market is now worth £675 million!
As luck would have it, Van Hage’s Deli counter at PE1 houses a selection of over 50 cheeses. From scrumptious stilton to mouth-watering Wensleydale, there’s something to satiate all fromage feasters!
An Increase in Cheese Production
Cheese production in the UK increased steadily by 7% since 2015, with 465,000 tonnes of British cheese produced in 2018 alone. Whilst British Stilton, Caerphilly, and Wensleydale continue to be some of the UK’s most popular cheeses, cheddar reigns supreme as one of the UK’s top exports. In the US, UK cheese imports are worth £50 million, with 90% of UK dairy exports to the US being cheese. In China, demand for UK cheese is growing by 20% each year.
Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers says: “One of the great opportunities of Brexit is the chance to expand exports of our world-renowned food and drink, and the growth of our innovative cheese industry is testament to this.”
The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reports that the increase in popularity of UK cheese is due to a growing demand for more natural and authentic dairy products.
As home to the International Cheese and Dairy Awards, the UK’s cheese continues to win gold with Belton Farm, a family-owned cheese manufacturer based in Shropshire, dubbed the ‘Supreme Champion’ at the 2018 International Cheese and Dairy Awards.
Milking the Benefits
Whilst you may not think so, cheese has many health benefits. These include:
- Cheese can help prevent osteoporosis
- A study by dental professionals showed that eating cheese might actually help to prevent dental cavities
- Some people need to gain weight for health reasons. With its fat and protein content, plus the vitamins and minerals it contains, cheese is a great option for gaining weight in a healthy manner.
- Cheese is the best dietary source of calcium – which is necessary for regulating vascular function, hormone secretion, muscle function and nerve transmission
- Protein is essential for the formation, repair, regulation and protection of the body. Cheese is an excellent source of this
- Vitamin B12 aids the production of red blood cells, protein and DNA, along with other mental health functions. Cheese is high in this vitamin
- Cheese can help prevent some cancers. Some evidence shows that milk and cheese can lower the risk of colorectal and bladder cancer
- Cheese helps build muscle, due to its fat and protein content
- Fortified with probiotic bacteria, cheese can help boost the immune system.
- Cheese is good for thyroid health. Hard cheeses, like cheddar, can be a great source of selenium – an essential mineral that counteracts viruses and regulates thyroid function.
Be sure to head over to the Deli in Van Hage to get your fromage fix!