Write a sonnet in praise of cheese and back Errington fight

Angela Cairns at the stall at Biggar Show food fair on Saturday.
Angela Cairns at the stall at Biggar Show food fair on Saturday.

Write a poem and help a local cheesemaker fight for survival!

That is the challenge from Errington Cheese, about to take on a court fight for its very existence.

The Errington Cheese competition invites everyone to support artisan raw milk cheese making in Scotland by penning a poem.

The family firm’s head cheese maker Angela Cairns was manning a stall at Biggar Show on Saturday, and sales of the Lanark Blue cheese - and mouthwatering tarts made with the company’s famous cheese - were going well.

But she was also giving out leaflets about the company’s continuing legal action.

Last year’s cheese - which the company values at around £350,000 - has been seized, and the company was blamed for an ecoli outbreak which led to the death of a young girl. The firm has always disputed claims by Food Standards Scotland, and evidence for both sides will be heard at Lanark Sheriff Court soon.

“The issues at stake, and how the court judges them, will determine the future not just of Errington Cheese but of all raw milk cheese production in Scotland,” the cheesemaker, founded by Humphrey Errington in the 1980s, states in one of the leaflets.

“The battle has involved us in massive cost, not just financially but also in terms of personal stress.

“We have been fortified in our determination to see the matter to the end by the enormous support we are receiving from the Scottish public.

“In the unlikely event that we do have to give up, it will not be from lack of will but from lack of money.”

Everyone cansubmit a poem, no longer than 14 lines, from a limerick to a sonnet, in praise of raw milk cheese, and accompany it with a donation of at least £10 towards the legal costs.

Entries must be in by August 31, to www.facebook.com/erringtoncheesecompetition, email competition@ erringtoncheese.co.uk, or post to Errington Cheese Competition, Walston Braehead Farm, Ogscastle, Carnwath, ML11 8NF.

Prizes include a painting of blue cheese, and meals at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie or the Three Chimneys.