The ACS Universe

ACS is the leading organization supporting the understanding, appreciation, and promotion of artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas. At more than 1,800 members strong – nearly a doubling of membership in its last decade of operation – ACS provides the cheese community with educational resources and networking opportunities, while encouraging the highest standards of cheesemaking focused on safety and sustainability.

The ACS Universe

ACS & Industry Growth

The American artisan, farmstead, and specialty cheese industry has been growing for years, with more producers venturing into cheesemaking to meet growing consumer demand for unique, local, natural cheeses.

  • In 1983, the 1st ACS gathering welcomed 150 attendees. In 2017, over 1,400 attendees came together for “Cheese with Altitude” in Denver.
  • The ACS Judging & Competition grew from 89 entries in 1985 to 2,024 entries in 2017.
  • ACS membership has more than doubled in the last decade, to over 1,800 members.
  • Cheese was the top category of specialty food sales in 2015, at more than 4 billion dollars—a 15% increase from 2013, according to the Specialty Food Association.
  • There are 900+ artisan and specialty cheesemakers in the U.S., according to ACS’s inaugural 2016 “State of the U.S. Artisan/Specialty Cheese Industry Survey.”