Cheese makers are once again being offered the chance to win a listing in Tesco stores up and down the country, guaranteeing massive sales growth.

The closing date for entries to Tesco’s Cheese Challenge, now in its fourth year, is 24 May, and the retailer has seen a record number of new cheeses entered in the six categories:

Fresh, mould-ripened, semi-soft, blue, hard and speciality cheeses.

Previous winners say their businesses have flourished under the spotlight generated by the award.

2004 winner Philip Stansfield of the Cornish Cheese Company said the phone rang for days after his blue cheese was declared the winner.

“By the time the product went into Tesco stores in November our business had doubled in size.

And this was before we had sold a single kilo of cheese to Tesco.”

Cheese buyer Alain Guilpain said the retailer provided technical support to the winner.

“The key is to do this in a way that retains the individuality of the cheese.

Most small producers who are expanding production to sell on a national scale will need to make some changes to ensure the product is suitable from a health and safety point of view.”

And once in store, the winning cheese is also promoted with special signage.

“Customers like to see new British cheeses on offer.”

Last year’s winner, The Wyfe of Bath from Bath Soft Cheese, appeared in 150 stores at the beginning of April and has sold very well so far.

For an entry form, call 08456 447 660 or click on to www.tescocheese.com