Save our cheese, please: Wicklow shoppers urged to buy local
Consumers in Wicklow are being asked to favour local varieties when doing their shopping after concern was raised about the future of some cheesemakers in the county.
Cáis, the Association of Irish Farmhouse Cheesemakers, is appealing to the retail sector to continue to stock its product and encouraging consumers to support the industry at this time.
Irish Farmhouse Cheese produced in Wicklow includes Coolattin Cheddar, Tullow, Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese, Arklow, Ballyhubbock Farm, Baltinglass and Old MacDonnell’s Cheese, Glen of the Downs.
A member survey carried out by the association highlighted fears for significant job losses and an estimated 75% drop in sales as a result of the closure of foodservice outlets and farmers markets which accounted for the majority of sales in 2019.
Cáis also expressed concern about finding a home for excess milk produced, on their own farms and as well as speciality milk from sheep, goat and buffalo.
The association acknowledged that it was incredibly grateful for the support received by retailers to date but that continued support was required to keep the industry operational.
To offset the loss of foodservice and to further support the industry, Cáis has also launched a ‘Buy Irish Farmhouse Cheese Online’ campaign to encourage consumers to purchase Irish farmhouse cheese directly from suppliers.
The growing list of stockists can be accessed on www.irishcheese.ie to allow consumers to buy Irish Farmhouse Cheese and have it delivered directly to their homes.