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Farmhouse Cheese – Top Tips for Success

16th November 2020

Liam McCabe, Sector Manager, Dairy Specialist, Bord Bia - The Irish Food Board

Last month, Bord Bia held a workshop in conjunction with Avril Molloy from the Irish School of Cheese aimed at equipping cheesemakers with the skills to succeed at Cheese Counters. Getting a product listing is crucial, but so too is managing your relationship with the buyer or cheesemonger to ensure it’s a success.

Top 5 tips:

1. Quality, Taste & Passion – first and foremost, your cheese must taste good. You must be passionate about striving for the ultimate taste and quality and its important your buyer understands this.

 

2. Technical Spec & Pricing – ensure you have a detailed written spec, including all the ingredients and processes involved in making your cheese. Shelf life and storage is also really important. Be sure to be clear on your pricing and margins as you may not always get the price you want! Factor in the cost of promotions and in-store tastings.

 

3. Route to Market – how will your cheese be transported? What are the lead times, and are there any issues such as seasonality that may affect supply. It’s important that you communicate this to the buyer so they know you’re prepared.

 

4. Portions and Packaging – can you provide the cheese in the portion size and packaging that your buyer requires? It’s imperative that the packaging maintains the quality of the cheese. Keep your packaging simple but distinctive.

 

5. Know your Market – make sure you know the market that you’re selling to – research your competitors and find your unique selling point. Make sure it resonates with consumers!

Cheesemongers sell more of a cheese they have a connection with, so it’s important you build a good relationship. Be pro-active with communication, give mongers an opportunity to visit your farm and be sure to tell your story and look for feedback. Visit the counter to see where your product sits and to make sure your cheese holds its quality in that setting. It’s in your hands!

For more information or to watch the recording of the webinar, contact Liam.McCabe@BordBia.ie.