How cheese is judged and awards decided

The mission of Canadian Cheese Awards/Le Concours des fromages fins canadiens is to increase the sale and consumption of Canadian artisan cheese. Our goals are to:

  • Promote the best in Canadian cheese of all milks,
  • Create a recognized symbol of excellence for all Canadian cheese,
  • Offer expert feedback to all producers who submit entries by providing them with score cards prepared by the judges.

We aim to honour cheese that has achieved technical excellence and exhibits the highest aesthetic qualities. In the end, it comes down to flavour, aroma and texture.

Click here to download the 2018 Awards Guidelines for Canadian Cheese Producers. It contains all you need to know about judging procedures, entry requirements and online registration of entries.

When you have read the guidelines, collected the information you will need, please proceed to Online Entry Registration.

If you have questions on how to enter or experience problems with the online registration system, please contact the Awards Registrar, email or telephone 1.613.893.0959.


Judges work in teams of two: one Technical and one Aesthetic.

Technical Judges deduct points for flaws and defects from a perfect score of 50. Aesthetic Judges award points for outstanding characteristics and qualities to a maximum of 50. The two scores are added to obtain the total score for an entry.

Evaluation is largely based on flavour, aroma and texture.


Standards of excellence apply to all entries. Each entry is evaluated on its own merit. Cheeses do not compete “against” each other for awards.

Yes, it’s wonderful to win a category or a special award or be named Canadian Cheese of the Year. Far more important for cheese producers is the expert feedback from judges. All producers who submit entries are provided with evaluation reports prepared by the judges. These reports will be issued shortly the Awards Ceremony on June 6.

Depending upon the number of entries in a category, the Chief Judge may set minimum scores that are required to earn awards. It is possible that awards are not earned within a category if no entry achieves a minimum number of points.

When there is a tie in scores, or the scores are extremely close, the Chief Judge may request Judges to perform an additional round of evaluation and scoring. This will be especially important in the case of special awards, regional awards and Canadian Cheese of the Year.

We want the Awards to be definitive and above reproach; thus, the Jury will take the extra time needed to arrive at the final list of winners, clearly, the best cheeses in Canada in 2018.