Galloway firm is the creme de la creme

Director Wilma Finlay with The Ethical Dairy's award for its Bluebell cheese.
Director Wilma Finlay with The Ethical Dairy's award for its Bluebell cheese.

A Rainton company’s pioneering blue cheese has scooped a top prize at Scotland’s largest fine food and drink trade show.

The Ethical Dairy’s Bluebell cheese won Best Product Award in the chilled and frozen category at Scotland’s Speciality Food Show, held recently in Glasgow.

The annual awards highlight the Scottish products that are most highly rated by industry buyers and food experts and the panel of judges included Gary Maclean, Masterchef winner and Scotland’s National Chef.

The Ethical Dairy makes cheese from milk farmed by the cow with calf method. This means that calves stay with their mums to suckle rather than being separated from them shortly after birth, which is the norm in dairy farming.

Bluebell, the dairy’s fifth cheese, is a semi-soft blue cheese sold in individual truckles.

It was created by cheesemaker Steven Palmer, whose late uncle was famous blue cheese maker Ernie Wagstaff, of Stichelton Dairy.

Launched last autumn, the cheese sold out over Christmas and the company is planning to release a limited edition Blueheart version of the cheese for Valentine’s Day.

Director Wilma Finlay was delighted and surprised to have won the award.

She said: “We have been thrilled by the response to Bluebell.

“The feedback from members of the public has been phenomenal and to receive an award like this from the industry is just amazing.

“Due to our current production capacities, we have only been selling this cheese direct through our online shop and even then we have been struggling to keep up with demand for it.

“We are very much looking forward to upscaling production in the next few months and launching this cheese into the retail trade very soon.”

More information about The Ethical Dairy and its products can be found at www.theethicaldairy.co.uk on Twitter on @theethicaldairy and on Facebook @EthicalDairy.