What is the future for British artisan cheese?
When Pam and Francis began cheesemaking it was with the knowledge that British artisan produce was on the rise. Since starting their tasting events business, Taste of the Vine, back in 1997, they had witnessed the increase in English sparkling wine producers, British micro-breweries and small batch distillers, and, wondering whether artisan cheese might be similarly set for exponential growth, they decided to become producers.
What they found suggests that whilst the artisan cheese industry is in a marginally stronger position today than it has been any time since the war, it is still a fraction that of some European countries, and, due to the consolidation of our dairy milk industry, as well as other inhibiting factors, time is running out to grow the industry.
When visiting the cheesemakers for the preparation of the guide, Francis wanted to know whether his suppositions were founded and if the hurdles the Gimbletts had faced when becoming cheesemakers were unique, so Francis decided to take the opportunity of asking the cheesemakers their opinions. The breadth of response and the depth of passion he encountered has led him to believe that there are exciting opportunities to further strengthen and enhance the artisan cheese sector.
"Within Gimblett's Guide to the best of British Cheese I have conveyed my findings in summary in the hope of stimulating further discussion and providing awareness of the issues faced by those bringing artisan cheese to your tables."