How do the Swiss Cheese Awards work?

The 13th SWISS CHEESE AWARDS are being held in two parts: the qualifying round in Bern on 20 September 2024, followed by the crowning of the three Swiss Champions in Lugano from 4 to 6 October 2024.

Qualifying round in Bern

Around 1000 different cheeses, divided into 32 categories, will be presented to a 200-strong international jury in Bern. They will judge the cheeses on the basis of predefined criteria and select a winner for each category.


Who is on the jury?

The jury is made up of around 200 experts from the cheese industry and the catering trade as well as media representatives and consumers. To obtain as objective a picture as possible, jurors from abroad are also invited every year. The jury works in the name and on behalf of Fromarte, the umbrella organisation of Swiss cheese specialists. Fromarte is responsible for the competition and ensures a fair contest and compliance with the regulations.

Laboratoire du Goût

Fromarte organises the “Laboratoire du goût” competition in conjunction with a vocational college for the food industry. In parallel to the qualifying round, a somewhat smaller selection of cheeses will be judged by a jury consisting of apprentices in the catering/kitchen sector. They too choose their best cheese, the winner of the “Laboratoire du Goût” category.

Swiss Cheese Awards in Lugano

Friday, 4 October is the grand finale: all 32 category winners from Bern are judged once again by the Super Jury in the Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano. The Super Jury selects a Swiss Champion in the three categories Extra-Hard/Hard Cheese, Semi-Hard Cheese and Soft/Fresh Cheese.

The cheeseboard competition takes place at the same time as the selection of the three Swiss Champions. The participants will create their most beautiful cheeseboard on site at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Lugano and present it to the jury, who select a winner.

The Swiss Cheese Awards presentation ceremony takes place at 16:30. All 32 category winners from Bern will be honoured there. And then the three Swiss Champions will be announced and crowned. The winner of the cheeseboard competition will be announced too, of course.


Is it possible to sample the winning cheeses? Yes!

The traditional cheese market will be held on Saturday, 5 and Sunday, 6 October. You can taste and purchase all 32 category winners and other specialities from the region there. The cheese market also offers a variety of other attractions for the whole family. And if you’re lucky, you might even meet the cheesemakers behind the winning products and get a chance to ask specific questions.

The cheese market takes place as part of the Autumn Festival in Lugano – the Festa d’Autunno with its autumnal colours, scents and flavours. Lugano ushers the autumn in with this traditional festival in the city centre. The long weekend offers the opportunity to discover the local cuisine and delicious Ticino wines in the various grottos and restaurants in the heart of Lugano, or to do some shopping on the street market in the city centre. Friendly folklore groups provide musical entertainment, and Lugano Region offers free guided tours of the city to mark the occasion.



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