Traditional cheesemaking around the world is under threat. We all know that. From overzealous regulatory agencies, to take-overs and mergers, to reduced demand and changes in eating habits, to climate change; cheesemaking is increasingly becoming an elite career. Young people in Europe are leaving the industry, while in the US producers are struggling to meet demands and making a profit to sustain their long-term well-being.
Often, many of us say that we want to help these cheesemakers, and while the most obvious solution is to consume their products, we also want to help in other ways. We know that, because in 2015 our cheese-lover’s survey revealed that 86% of you consumed raw-milk cheeses to support traditional cheesemakers.
Since then, we been spearheading campaigns and talking to hundreds of you about the benefits of raw milk cheeses, not only for your health, but also to maintain living heritages alive. But to be able to better define our goals for the next year, we are conducting a global Cheesemaker Survey to understand and assess the challenges currently facing cheese producers around the world.
The survey is aimed at producers everywhere who are using traditional cheesemaking practices, regardless of output—we want to hear from home makers, artisanal creameries, PDO (protected designations of origin) producers, and specialty cheese divisions.
Responses are being collected online until November 26, 2017, with versions of the survey currently available in English, French, and Spanish; Italian and Portuguese versions are in progress. The results of the survey will be analyzed by the OCC’s academic advisory committee and shared in 2018.
Carlos Yescas, Oldways Cheese Coalition Program Director