Select Page

By Brad Jones, Program Manager at Cheese of Choice Coalition

What will be the fate of traditional cheese? Will Roquefort be gone forever? What about cheeses aged on wood? What about raw milk cheese? To the dismay of cheese enthusiasts everywhere, questions continue to mount.

A great deal of regulatory uncertainty surrounds the traditional cheese world right now. And it’s not likely to go away. Wood boards, raw-milk, cheese mites, E. coli are among the full-court pressure on traditional cheese, on traditional foods in general.

Support is out there. To address these issues, the Cheese of Choice Coalition (CCC) is bearing the banner of traditional cheese worldwide and jumping into the fray. The CCC’s mission is to support the production of artisan, raw-milk and traditional cheese, through a combination of advocacy, education, consumer outreach and community engagement.

{{ image (2854, {“class”: “flor round”, “width”: “200”, “height”: “300”}) }}As a traditional cheese community, as a specialty food industry, as mindful eaters, we all need to amplify and share our voice. We need to do a better job of educating regulators, policy makers, fellow consumers, and peers. We need to be proactive, to articulate the interests of our community, and to highlight that traditional food can be produced to highest safety standards, verified by the most advanced scientific research.

The fact that Andy Hatch at Uplands Dairy, one of the most recognized and award-winning cheese producers in the country, is so concerned with “shifting regulatory goal posts” that he, for a lack of a better word, is afraid to produce cheese right now is telling. The fact that we can’t import wonderfully delicious Roquefort, or Morbier, or a host of other traditional cheeses with a long track record of being produced at the highest safety standards, is problematic.

If you’re interested in learning more about the pressing issues afflicting artisan, raw-milk, and traditional cheese, please take a look at the Cheese of Choice Coalition website and consider joining the Coalition, in order to stay knowledgeable on topics affecting the traditional cheese community, and you as a consumer.

It is not confrontation that we as a traditional cheese community are looking for — rather, we believe that collaboration is critical. We want a place at the table. And, we want that table to have nice slice of piquant and grassy Roquefort, nestled amongst ripe fig and pears as its centerpiece.