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Traditional French Cheeses Lose Out To Fast Food And Industrial Products

December 22, 2010: 08:52 PM EST

Consumption of traditional French cheese varieties is decreasing due to fast food and competition from industrial cheese varieties, as groups like the Association Fromages de Terroir campaign to save this important element of French dining tradition. While cheese consumption in France still averages 25kg per person per year, just 7 percent is now from raw milk; the remainder is from "pasteurised, sanitised and lightweight" products, according to the AFT. Producers of raw milk cheese are hindered by tighter health regulations and households are buying prepared foods rather than cooking at home. Fifty artisanal raw-milk cheeses have disappeared in the last 30 years, and cheese exports fell nearly 5 percent in 2009 to €2.5 billion, as British cheeses, like Stilton, outsell French products in UK stores. One French cheese producer, however, is fighting back by pushing its products in the UK.

Colin Randall, "Fast food threatens France's tradition of cheese", The National, December 22, 2010, © The National Conversation
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