Many participants on cheese course
Twelve cheese enthusiasts spent four days becoming absorbed in milk and cheese making techniques, taking their first steps towards their own processing of milk.
Local food producers can be offered help with successful development and value creation. Five competence networks cover the whole of Norway, offering courses, seminars, networks, study trips, internship and visiting schemes that suit the companies’ needs.
They have learned how to separate and sour milk, make white cheese, cream cheese, fatost, sour cream, yoghurt and butter, as well as how to salt and mature cheese. Their teacher was Lise Brunborg from cheese maker Stavanger cheese dairy.
“I want to welcome many more cheese makers,” says master cheese maker Lise Brunborg. In her opinion, the more there are, the more interest they will create in using local raw materials and local cheese making techniques.
The market is the driving force and consumers are constantly asking for more variety, and we have plenty of raw materials. This means that it is possible to produce and sell more cheese and dairy products. Imports of dairy products to Norway correspond to 200 million litres of milk. We can reduce these imports and generate more local jobs by providing more local products of quality.
“The tourists who visit Lysefjorden and Preikestolen are looking for local products,” says farmer Torbjørn Norland from Heia in Strandalandet. There is great potential here, and he wants to do something about it.
No shortage of milk
Rogaland is in an excellent position for milk production with plenty of grazing land and rough pasture. 300 million litres of milk are produced here, which is 20% of the nation’s milk production.
According to Norwegian Farm Cheese, a country-wide association for Norwegian artisan cheese makers and dairies, there are approximately 100 producers selling cheese in Norway. This includes sales from mountain summer farms and somewhat larger dairies such as Valdres Dairy.
The 7 producers in Rogaland are thus 7%. This amount is too low and the target is to increase this number significantly.
Learning while doing
“Firstly we need to build competence, which we do by arranging inspirational gatherings and cheese courses.” This is the view of Aase Vorre Skula who arranges the course . She is a research scientist at Nofima and the coordinator of the competence network for local food, and she is delighted with the great involvement in cheese making.
The target is to provide knowledge and transfer experience to farmers and others interested in cheese making, so they are better equipped to start cheese making.
The next step for participants is a modular course in two parts on the local processing and sale of milk. The courses are normally held in Aurland. They have long experience of cheese making and competence building.
As well as building their competence, participants must develop concepts and create a business and investment plan for their own cheese making.