The Association for the Defence of Époisses was founded in 1968 following the cheese makers and producers' wishes to obtain official recognition for the Époisses as a Protected Designation of Origin area.
The Association for the Defence of Époisses was officially recognised as a Defence and Management Organisation (ODG, as it is known in French) by the French National Institute for Quality and Origin (INAO, as it is known in France) Dairy, Agrofood and Forestry Appellation Board during its session on 24 May 2007. The bylaws currently in effect were modified at the Extraordinary Meeting of Members on 24 April 2008 and were registered with the City Hall of Époisses on 29 April 2008. The ODG encompasses all milk and cheese producers.
Jean-Louis Lachot, a milk producer in Villy-en-Auxois, has been Chairman of the Association since 22 June 2006.
He succeeded Bernard Chevalier, a milk producer in Crecey-sur-Tille, the former Chairman of the Agricultural Chamber of Côte-d’Or, now deceased. The Association headquarters are located in the City Hall of Époisses.
Besides the missions assigned by law as an ODG, the main objective of the Association is "to study and defend the collective professional and moral interests during the production, processing, distribution and consumption phases”.
Under this framework, the association’s polices are aimed at:
- Maintaining the uniqueness and quality of the product
- Food safety
- Promoting and defending the appellation.
With its development projects, the Association for the Defence of Époisses regularly collaborates with the following professional and scientific partners:
- ACTILAIT : Technical Institute of Milk and Dairy Products : http://www.actilait.com
- AGROSUP DIJON : French National Higher Institute for Agricultural Food and Environmental Science : http://www.agrosupdijon.fr
- ARIA Bourgogne : The Regional Association of Agrofood Industries of Burgundy : http://www.bourgogne-iaa.com
- ANAOF : French National Association of French Dairy Designations of Origin, headquartered in Paris at the Maison du Lait : http://www.maison-du-lait.com
- CERTIPAQ : Agricultural and Agrofood Product Quality Certification Centre : http://www.certipaq.com
- CNAOL : French National Dairy Designations of Origin Board, headquartered in Paris at the Maison du Lait.
- The French Breeding Institute : http://www.inst-elevage.asso.fr
- INAO : French National Designation of Origin Institute : http://www.inao.gouv.fr
- oriGIn : Organisation for an International Geographical Indications Network : http://www.origin-gi.com
- VITAGORA : A “taste, nutrition and health” competitive research pole : http://www.vitagora.com