AUSTIN, Texas (Sept. 1, 2015) – Whole Foods Market cheesemongers accounted for more than half of the American Cheese Society’s 2015 class of Certified Cheese Professionals.

Of the 187 cheese experts who passed the exam, held July 29, in Providence, Rhode Island, 97 were Whole Foods Market team members. To date, Whole Foods Market has supported the development of 311 team member CCPs, making the company the largest employer of CCPs. There are currently 595 CCPs in the United States.

“The entire cheese industry continues to benefit greatly from the adoption of the American Cheese Society’s CCP designation as the standard for cheese professionals,” said Cathy Strange, global cheese buyer at Whole Foods Market. “Additionally, Whole Foods Market customers are able to benefit from the high level of expertise through CCP team members in our cheese departments.”

The three-hour exam tests cheesemongers on storage and handling, nutrition, distribution, raw materials, the ripening process, the making process, and on categories and types of cheeses. CCPs must renew certification every three years.

At Whole Foods Market, cheese experts ensure that stores offer a diverse selection of the highest quality cheeses, many of which are organic and do not contain rBST, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Each Whole Foods Market store offers between 250 and 1,000 types of cheese from all over the world.

For a complete list of Certified Cheese Professionals, visit To learn more about cheese at Whole Foods Market, visit