AUSTRALIAN champion cheeses will be exhibited overseas for the first time next month.
Grand champion cheese Maffra Cloth Aged Cheddar will be among the Australian Grand Dairy Award-winning cheeses and other products displayed to Japanese Government officials and catering representatives as part of an event called Australia Day In Spring.
Dairy Australia international market co-ordinator Katie Porter said the event, hosted by the Australian embassy, was the perfect opportunity to exhibit some of our best cheeses less than a month after they received national recognition.
Gippsland produce dominated the top prizes at this year's Australian Grand Dairy Awards, which were presented in Melbourne last week. Nineteen winners were announced over a variety of cheese and dairy produce categories.
The highest-scoring cheese and highest-scoring dairy product were announced as the grand champions.
Last week was the second time Dandenong's Bead Foods won the nation's grand champion dairy product with its Gippsland Dairy Pure Double Cream.
Its first grand champion win was in 2009.
Bead Foods managing director Peter Meek said the $65 million business employed 135 people and he represented them all when he received the award.
"It's been a great day out," Mr Meek said. "It's a privilege to represent people in the factory who are so passionate about what they do."
Gippsland Dairy doesn't source milk directly from farmers, but buys milk from Victoria, predominantly Gippsland.
Last July, the business was bought by US company Chobani.
It has started making its "authentic Greek" yoghurt in Australia and Mr Meek said this was available at Woolworths' NSW and Victorian stores.
Bead Foods also won champion flavoured yoghurt with its Gippsland Dairy Blueberry Twist.
The top cheese award went to the Maffra Cloth Aged Cheddar, produced by the Maffra Cheese Company.
Owner Ferial Zekiman produces 250 tonnes of cheese a year using milk from her 260-head Holstein-cross herd at Tinamba. Ms Zekiman supplies the food service industry and Woolworths.