October is cheese month in New Zealand and this is brie-lliant news for Cheesemakers across the country who have had to find new markets following the challenges of Covid-19.
With the closure of farmers’ markets, specialty retail food stores, cafes, and restaurants closed during the country’s Lockdowns, cheese suppliers were under threat. However, with the constant reminder to support local in such trying times, New Zealand cheese itself has recently seen record sales.
New Zealand Speciality Cheesemakers Association (NZSCA) chair, Neil Willman, says Kiwi cheesemakers have been delighted by the support they have recieved from people buying local where they could.
“It’s uplifting to see the sales are strong across the board from traditional blocks of Cheddar and Edam, to grated cheese and through to speciality cheeses like flavoured cheese, fresh cheese, soft rind cheese and goats’ cheese,” says Willman.
“Buying locally made cheese keeps jobs and money in our country. It also ensures the cheese is fresh and it reduces food miles! What’s more there’s a good chance cheese lovers will get to meet their local cheesemaker and in many cases visit their dairy or cheese factory.”
Just in time for cheese month is the launch of NZSCA’s new website, cheeseloversnz, which is an information hub for news on everyone’s favourite local cheese companies.
C’est Cheese Artisan Cheese and Deli owner and winner of the 2019 Favourite NZ Cheese Shopping Experience, Paul Broughton, says he has seen a massive change in the demand for locally made product.
“As people spend more time travelling around their country they’re beginning to appreciate and connect with New Zealand’s vibrant community of artisan cheesemakers,” he says.
“This is resulting in ongoing purchasing of locally made cheeses as well as a heightened understanding of the many different types of cheese made here.”