The Cheese Coalition has been diligently working since 1999, first as a campaign to defend raw milk cheeses, and then as a program of the non-profit Oldways concerned with the future of traditional cheesemaking around the world. In 2014, a wake-up call for traditional cheesemakers made us rethink our role in protecting heritage cheesemaking practices and the importance to find allies everywhere. You may have heard of the wood-board incident. If you haven’t, you can read more here.
Since the beginning, we knew we could not work alone and we assembled an all-star group of cheese experts to guide us. Our Advisory Comittee is committed to promoting the best cheeses in the world. But that is not enough, we also needed partners who have expertise in other areas of cheese knowledge, from producers, to retailers, from distributors and importers, to advocates. These supporters have been there all along to help us disseminate the fairest and most unbiased information about artisanal and traditional cheese. In fact, our independence comes from the common believe that cheese is healthy and nutritious, and we want everyone to know that.
But there is a piece missing in our Coalition. That piece is you. We rely on cheese-lovers to fund some of our campaigns. Your membership and donations help us research, produce, print, and disseminate information about raw milk cheese and other traditional cheesemaking practices. Every year we print over 2000 cards used by stores, producers, and super-markets to promote Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day. Also, every year, we create a global campaign to reach consumers in over 17 countries. Our raw milk cheese pamphlets and resources are translated to Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian and available free for anyone to download. In 2018, we will be translating our resources to Russian, Japanese and German as well, along a redesign of our website.
On top of these resources, we also have a Research Associate on staff giving us support developing information to support traditional cheesemakers in the US. You can read Daniel’s updates in previous blog posts. We have this information available for cheesemakers lobbying their state officials like in Pennsylvania or to defend themselves from overzealous inspectors. We provide this support for free. You can read our advocacy efforts and the results of a consumer survey we conducted here.
We know your donation dollars can go to many other worthy causes. Some of mine this year went to earthquake relief efforts in Mexico. Still, we want to assure you that a $10-dollar donation is a huge amount to fulfill our mission. Please consider a donation on this Thanksgiving season or even better, become a member and get one of our “Beneficial Microbe” t-shirts or the other perks we have for you.
Carlos Yescas, Oldways Cheese Coalition Program Director
Photo Credit: Galeria do Queijo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.