Unlike many Presidia that concentrate on one particular product with distinctive properties from a specific geographical area, this project covers many different types of cheeses from across Ireland.
The Presidium is made up of 10 artisan dairies that work with their own distinctive style and techniques, but share a common commitment to producing a safe, high-quality product using raw milk from their own cows or goats or milk from nearby herds.
In 2005, the first draft of the production specification was written, laying down rules concerning the management of cattle, the source of milk and the cheesemaking process. The specification states that dairy herds should feed on pasture for eight or nine months of the year; that each batch of milk for cheesemaking comes from a maximum of three milkings; and that the distance between a milking parlor and dairy is minimal.
The Presidium is represented by a number of cheeses that are considered ‘ambassadors’ for Irish raw cow’s and goat’s milk cheese, selected on the basis of their taste qualities. Only one cheese from each producer of each milk type can be represented at any one time.
The purpose of this project is to encourage and support raw milk cheese producers throughout Ireland and to increase appreciation for this product. It seeks to celebrate the distinctive merits of Irish raw milk cheese, the environment from which it springs, its artisans and its varied styles of production. The objectives are to raise awareness among consumers, retailers and food policy experts of the quality of raw milk cheeses, and to defend the right of small-scale producers to make raw milk cheese in Ireland.
Tom Burgess, Coolattin Farmhouse Cheese
Peter Thomas, Bellingham Blue
Jeffa Gill, Durrus Farmhouse Cheese
Mike Thomson, Mike’s Fancy Cheese
Eamonn Lonergan, Knockanore Farmhouse Cheese
Silke Cropp, Corleggy Cheese
Drumlin, Corleggy, Creeny
Elizabeth Bradley, Carlow Farmhouse Cheese
Carlow Tomme, Nine Stones
James Gannon, Cloonconra Cheese
Cloonconra Moiley Cheese
Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith, Inagh Farmhouse Cheese
St Tola Raw Milk Log
Dan Hegarty, Hegarty’s Cheese