LONDON (Reuters) - A British cheesemaker has offered a 500 pound ($652) reward for the recovery of 40 kilograms of prize-winning cheddar stolen from an agricultural show in south-west England.
The award-winning cheddar and the reserve champion, each weighing 20 kilograms, were allegedly stolen on Saturday after being left in a marquee in Yeovil, not far from the village of Cheddar, after which the world-renowned cheese is named.
The two blocks disappeared along with the certificates that prove their prize-winning quality which could raise their value.
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"Such a quantity of prize-winning cheese would retail (at) between five hundred to six hundred pounds. But with their certificates, they could be worth thousands," Rich Clothier, the managing director at Wyke Farms, told Reuters.
"Prize-winning cheese, along with a certificate like this would be very famous all around the world."
Staff at Wyke Farms, which exports cheese to 160 countries including America and France, were devastated over the missing cheese and feared whoever took it could try to ship it abroad.
Because of the unwieldy weight and bulk of the two cheeses, Clothier said that the theft could have been planned.
"There were hundreds of cheeses in the marquee but only two blocks were stolen," he said.
"They were big blocks, about the size of a small suitcase. It's not as if they can be hidden in a handbag or a jumper."
(Reporting by Luke Bridges; editing by Alistair Smout and Alexander Smith)