Since its beginnings more than 20 years ago, Slow Food has been working to defend raw milk. Eight editions of Cheese, the biennial event dedicated to ‘milk in all its shapes and forms' (not only cheese itself, but also butter, milk, yogurt, ice-cream...) have turned the public's attention to important issues such as the legal battles facing raw milk cheese producers and the taste qualities of their products. The event gathers hundreds of the world's very best cheeses and their producers, as well as a host of experts, cheesemongers and cooks.
In 2001, Slow Food officially launched a campaign to protect cheese made from raw milk, gathering over 20,000 signatures in support of the Slow Food Manifesto in Defense of Raw Milk cheese. The manifesto was drawn up to protect the rights of cheesemakers in countries where overzealous hygiene laws forbid or jeopardize the production of raw milk cheese. Gradually, the success of the campaign is restoring confidence and dignity to cheese producers around the world.
All Slow Food's Presidia cheeses are made from raw milk, and, especially in the USA, Ireland, Great Britain and Australia where regulations are very strict or prohibit raw milk completely, Slow Food is taking a stand to support the right of producers to make them.
Read the story of raw milk through a forest metaphor
by Piero Sardo, President of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.