Supporting Scottish and British Cheesemakers During Lockdown May 7, 2020 15:12
We have always been supporters of small, artisan cheesemakers stocking a wide selection from across Scotland, the UK and into wider Europe.
Since lockdown started the industry has been in crisis; many farmhouse and artisan cheesemakers have been forced to pour thousands of litres of milk down the drain and give away cheese for free after many lost up to 90% of their business overnight when the hospitality sector was forced to close.
The situation has been compounded by shoppers using supermarkets to stock up on hard and grating cheeses made by large food manufacturers.
The result is that small producers have been left with maturing rooms full of cheeses, which by their nature have limited shelf lives. The problem is particularly pronounced for soft and blue cheeses.
At the same time, cows, sheep and goats are now out at pasture and continue to produce milk every day that must be used or thrown away.
The industry has been quick to respond with cheesemakers, cheesemongers, farm shops and delis rapidly pivoting their businesses to be able to sell cheese online to be delivered to people’s doors, as well as introducing strict social distancing systems at shops so people can buy safely.
“The future of Britain’s farmhouse and specialist cheesemakers is in the balance – we could see many of the country’s best cheeses lost forever as family farms and small cheesemaking businesses are pushed to the wall,” said cheesemaker Catherine Mead, chair of the SCA, which represents over 200 small cheesemakers and is one of three organisations involved in the initiative.
“The national crisis has put untold pressure on our members. Restaurants, cafes and pubs, plus farmers markets and supermarket deli counters, closed overnight leaving cheese stores overfilled, an abundance of spring milk with nowhere to go and only a few orders forthcoming.”
She added: “The good news is that it’s never been easier to buy good cheese, either online or direct. The specialist cheese industry has mobilised almost overnight, often teaming up with other small food producers, to get good food to people in their local areas.”
Choosing To Shop At Provender Brown Can Help:
Sometimes we’re so busy dealing with the day to day that we forget to relay to customers all that we know! We are extremely passionate about the small artisan producers we stock and take our place in the food chain very seriously. Quite apart from being an experienced bunch of foodies, Diane and Martine have a number of qualifications to back up their love of good food and great producers.
- School of Fine Food Cheese Training
- School of Fine Food Charcuterie Training
- Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 2
If you would like to support the small artisan producers of Scotland and the UK, please do ask us for help - we'd love to recommend some of our favourites to you.