With many countries across the world in lockdown, all sorts of markets, restaurants, cheesemongers, and cafes have been shut, causing sales of cheese to fall drastically. According to a press release by France Terre de Lait, in fact, sales of certain cheeses in France have dropped 60%.
Is it any wonder, then, that the French dairy industry is now urging people to eat more brie, camembert, and reblochon to help in reviving it?
A press release for the campaign, aptly called Fromagissons (let’s act for cheese), states that we should all be buying more cheese in order to help traditional cheesemakers during this crisis.
“The dairy industry is calling on consumers to eat cheese in solidarity with our producers of saint-nectaire, reblochon, cantal, camembert,” the release says.
“The situation is critical and requires a rapid increase in consumption.”
Of course, it’s not just France that’s been affected: indeed, as reported on 2 April 2020, cheesemakers in Ireland have reported a 75% drop in cheese sales, and a number of small-scale artisan cheese companies across the UK have been forced to close their doors in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
As such, the award-winning Caws Cenarth Cheese near Newcastle Emlyn recently offered to give away its produce for free.
Why? Because they hoped that, by doing so, it would be able to get its staff back to work and keep the business running during the pandemic.
“I have been making cheese for about 20 years and seen a lot of things in West Wales such as foot and mouth and BSE but this is something else,” said business owner Carywn Adams, in a video posted on YouTube from his Glyneithinog farm in the Cych valley.
“Most of our business is in the hospitality sector which closed virtually overnight while retail outlets decided our product is not essential. We have lost 85% of our business.
“We are now reaching out to see if people who supported us in the past will rally round and support us once again.
“This is dire times. I have a quarter of a year’s stock of soft and blue cheese which are not going to last that long and we have come up with some amazing offers and hopefully people will be able to support us.”
Adams went on to say that, as a “bit of a social experiment”, he would be preparing three types of cheeses: Perl Las (a creamy blue cheese); Perl Wen (a Brie-like cheese) and Caws Cryf (a strong, smooth cheese).
He then called upon viewers to either:
- Pay the full price and receive a 50% discount at Christmas.
- Buy cheese at 50% off
- Order cheese… for free
“You might be thinking ‘free cheese?’ but we are probably going to have to throw it away later anyway,” said Carwyn.
“We are hoping that those who can afford to pay will, others to pay what they can and those who really cannot afford it in these dire times, we will give it away free. There is a certain percentage we can give away for free and really it’s down to you to make that decision and that call.
“I am looking to you guys to come to our rescue , get the message out there and get jobs back to these wonderful guys and start making cheese again.”
The response was incredible.
“Thank you very much for what you’ve done, it’s been phenomenal,” said Adams, in a follow-up video. “We weren’t expecting the response: we didn’t even have enough boxes!”
He added that it would take a while for them to fulfill all the orders they’d received, due to having a limited team and the new ‘safe practice’ guidelines put in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but promised that he would fulfill every single order.
Check it out:
If you’d like to jump on the cheesy bandwagon, you can order some delicious Welsh cheeses from Caws Cenarth Cheese Company now. Or, if you’d like to help out some of your local small businesses, be sure to check out our guide here.
As reported in December 2018: It’s worth remembering that, from buttery gruyere to creamy camembert, strong stiltons to extra mature cheddars, there’s a cheese out there to suit every mood, every meal, and everyone. And no dinner party (even if that’s just you and your housemates in lockdown) would be complete without a well-stocked cheeseboard.
But, while our taste in cheeses is wide and varied, it turns out that there’s one cheese to suit each person’s personality. Apparently.
So, are you a gorgonzola or a goat’s cheese? A stilton or a brie? Or are you something completely and wildly different?
With so many cheeses to choose from, it can be hard to figure out which one best represents you and all you are.
Which is why we’ve devised an extra-cheesy quiz to help you to figure things out.
Ready to find which cheese you’re most like? Then you cheddar get a move on.
You can take our delightfully cheesy quiz here.