Kyodo Gakusha Shintoku Farm’s ‘Sakura-no-Affine’ and NEEDS’ ‘Raclette’ win Gold Award at World Cheese Awards

Kyodo Gakusha Shintoku Farm representative Miyajima expresses his delight at the double gold and bronze awards
NEEDS’ Raclette, which received the Gold Award

Two cheeses – ‘Sakura-no-Affine’ produced by the Kyodo Gakusha Shintoku Farm (Shintoku), and ‘Raclette’ produced by NEEDS (Makubetsu) – have won the Gold Award at the World Cheese Awards 2021, one of the world’s most influential international cheese shows. Including these two products, a total of four products from three cheese factories in the Tokachi region received high-ranking prizes.

There were 327 Gold Award winners. Although none of the Tokachi cheeses were selected among the 88 that received the Super Gold Award, they managed to finish in the top 8% of all the cheeses that were entered.

The Sakura-no-Affine from Kyodo Gakusha Shintoku Farm is made by maturing its ‘Sakura’ product – a springtime cheese that has won awards at numerous international competitions – for a further two weeks or more to bring out the savory taste and create a milder flavor. The Sakura-no-Affine cheese is not as acidic as the Sakura and is said to have a more profound flavor.

The long-term matured ‘Grande Sintoko’ from the same farm also received the Silver Award. “We’re delighted that these results show that we’ve been doing the right things in our cheese making to date. We hope to continue making delicious cheeses in the future,” said farm representative Miyajima Nozomu.

This is the first time a NEEDS product has won an award at an international competition. The raclette that won the Gold Award is characterized by its moderate saltiness and rich aroma. During the three-month aging period, the surface of the cheese is polished many times to stimulate the maturing process and bring out the impressive aroma and savory taste. As product fairs are cancelled and opportunity for sales have decreased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company says “It’s really encouraging. We are happy that the taste we always offer our customers has been recognized internationally.”
Another Tokachi product, ‘Tokachi Chevre Sumi (charcoal)’ a goat cheese from Kisara Farm (Shimizu), was selected for the Bronze Award.


Kyodo Gakusha Shintoku Farm