DENVER — The American Cheese Society recently announced that 121 cheesemongers across the U.S. and Canada passed the inaugural Certified Cheese Professionals Exam.
The CCP exam, which ACS spent eight years developing and claims is the first of its kind, was designed to set high standards for workers in the industry. It quizzed cheesemongers on all aspects of the business, from the cheesemaking process to marketing to nutrition.
Those who took the exam were required to have 4,000 hours of experience.
Many of the newly certified cheese professionals have already noticed a benefit from their preparation for the test.
“I’ve gotten a lot of feedback saying it’s increased their cheese sales because the person who had been studying for the exam knew a lot more about cheese, about how it was made, about how to handle it and [about] giving more of a story on the cheese,” said Jane Bauer, ACS’s education and outreach manager.
“What the benefit for the consumer is they know that this person knows how to handle cheese properly, the proper sanitation and hygiene practices for cheese,” Bauer added, noting that the certification highlights that the cheesemonger is a resource for consumers.
Retailers were represented in large numbers among the new CCPs. Whole Foods Market announced that 70 of its employees passed the exam, while individuals from Costco Wholesale Corp., Kroger Co., Lund Food Holdings, Sobeys and Wegmans Food Markets also made the cut.
“I was honored and nervous to be a part of the first class of people to take the exam,” Eliza Brown, specialty coordinator for the Whole Foods North Atlantic region, said in a statement. “It is so important that as cheese professionals we continue to work as a group to elevate the standards and strive for further education.”
The CCP exam was administered at ACS’s annual conference in Raleigh, N.C., on Aug. 1. Certification lasts for three years and can be renewed for additional three-year periods.
|Suggested Categories||More from Supermarketnews|