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  • USDEC executive recognized for global contributions to cheese industry

    By USDEC Staff July 19, 2023

    Angélique Hollister’s honor from the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers bolsters the growing awareness and reputation of U.S. cheeses worldwide.

    guildedownloadAngélique Hollister, Senior Vice President of Global Cheese Marketing at USDEC, has been honored by the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers – a prestigious international cheese society – with the esteemed title of “Garde et Juré,” protector of the craft of cheesemaking.  

    The title bestowed by The New World Chapter of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers bolsters the growing awareness and reputation of U.S. cheeses worldwide and demonstrates the importance of the U.S. Dairy Export Council’s worldwide cheese educational marketing programs that promote U.S. dairy exports. 

    The recognition celebrates Hollister’s exceptional commitment to improving positive perceptions of U.S. cheeses and her unwavering efforts in enhancing the economic health and viability of the U.S. cheese industry worldwide. 

    Angelique resized cropped IMG_1566 (1)Ambassadors of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers donned ceremonial robes to honor Hollister with the esteemed title of “Garde et Juré,” protector of the craft of cheesemaking. 

    During an exclusive ceremony held at The French Cheese Board in New York City on June 26, the organization celebrated honorees, including Hollister, who expressed her gratitude: “Having dedicated over 23 years to working for the industry, it is a great honor for me to be accepted within this incredible group of passionate and dedicated people who do their best every day to make a difference for the cheese industry.” 

    Following a tradition of more than 50 years, the Ambassadors of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers donned ceremonial robes and presented Hollister with a medal and certificate to commemorate the achievement. 

    Membership in the Guilde a distinguished privilege 

    The Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, established in 1969 by renowned French cheese expert Pierre Androuet, serves as a global non-profit organization connecting cheese professionals across the world and upholding cheese knowledge standards. In 2012, the New World Chapter was formed, recognizing outstanding artisans, mongers, and cheese professionals from the United States, Australia, Canada, and Mexico. 

    Membership in the Guilde is a distinguished privilege reserved for those who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the advancement and preservation of cheese globally. Nomination by a sitting member and approval by the organization's board are necessary for induction.  

    Sheri Allen, a Certified Cheese Professional and Certified Cheese Sensory Evaluator, nominated Hollister, citing her fervor for U.S. cheeses and her lifelong dedication to increasing demand for U.S. cheese exports in overseas markets. 

    ribbonsdownloadUSDEC's Angélique Hollister received a ribbon like this at a ceremony in New York for her global contributions to the cheese industry. Photo: Guilde Internationale des Fromagers.

    Decades of promoting U.S. cheeses 

    “Angélique's dedicated work for the past 23 years has contributed greatly to elevating the global profile of the U.S. cheese industry,” said Allen, herself an inductee of the Guilde in 2017. 

    The award not only honors Hollister but indirectly affirms USDEC's role as a catalyst for its members' success so they can realize their full potential. While USDEC doesn't export cheese or any other dairy products, Hollister and others help pave the way for the U.S. dairy industry to export successfully.  

    In 2022, the U.S. exported a record 451,370 metric tons (MT) of cheese, the equivalent of nearly 1  billion lbs., 12% higher than in 2021. Because milk is the key ingredient in cheese, U.S. dairy farmers had more milk crossing U.S. borders in cheese than ever before. 

    Hollister says USDEC cheese-exporting members deserve the credit for the increases, overcoming, among other things, supply-chain challenges and a false perception that the quality of U.S. cheeses can’t compare with European competitors. But USDEC’s efforts also had an impact.   

    Telling the positive story to the world

    A native of France, Hollister’s goal is to tell the positive story of U.S. cheeses with multiple strategies in global venues around the world. 

    For example, USDEC created the USA Cheese Guild™, a customer-facing umbrella entity highlighting U.S. cheese products in overseas markets. The USA Cheese Specialist™ Certification Program is a signature initiative. The program launched when it trained future chefs at culinary schools in South Korea, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan. To date, it has expanded to train 2,147 people in nine countries.  

    Hollister says she wants the U.S. to be increasingly recognized for the craftsmanship, award-winning quality, and breadth of cheese produced all across the country from cheesemakers big and small.  

    World Cheese Awards breakthrough 

    A public relations breakthrough happened in 2019 when The World Cheese Awards, held in Bergamo, Italy, named Rogue River Blue, made in Oregon, "World Champion Cheese," placing No. 1 of 3,804 entries from 42 countries. U.S. cheeses have been winning medals in prestigious international competitions for years.

    “I just love blowing people’s minds when we showcase the products we offer from the U.S. industry,” Hollister said when featured in a video as one of USDEC’s “Experts on Exports.”



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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff. 

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