Epoisses - et l'histoire continue-en
Milk producer in Chalancey (52160) with Gaec de la Chapelotte, he joined Gaec in 2010 with Pascal and Gérard Pinel.
Why did you get into the “Époisses” sector?
Our farm is quite close to the cheese factory in Chalancey so “naturally” we supply them with our milk. We are very proud to supply milk for a local product as a sign of quality in the context of a sector where the political guidelines are in line with our way of doing things. We are aware that the production of Époisses brings life to this countryside, the cheese factories and the farmers in a region where jobs are hard to come by.
What are the constraints as far as the specifications?
In a complicated geographical area which is not very conducive to the production of plant proteins, the main difficult is respecting food self-sufficiency which is hard to combine with herd performance research. Thus, we must seek a balance between these two objectives which obviously comes with a cost.
Responsible at an Époisses cheese factory for all of the operations prior to the actual ripening: milk reception, production, salting, drying.
What is your tie to this trade?
Producing a secular product with modern resources. Managing a team, projects and organising the work. You question yourself every day with such a living, noble product.
What are the difficulties and the constraints related to the specifications?
Working with full milk which is non-homogenised is quite difficult because the milk is different each day depending on the weather, the cow's diet, the milking times, etc. You are faced with changes more than you lead them so you have to adapt the production parameters every day. The coagulation period which is a minimum of 16 hours (lactic curds) makes organising your work complicated a only one batch can be produced each day. The lactic curds are, by definition, fragile and tend to conserve water which complicates the moulding, draining and turning phases. The dry salting and then the slow drying (at a low temperature and with humidity) are two essential operations which have very much to do with how the product will turn out. If it’s too salty, the cheese is no good and if it’s not salty enough, there will be no taste. If it’s too dry, you could wash it 100 times and it will still be too dry. If it’s too humid, it will tend to drip too much. So you have to find a balance right in the middle so everything changes every day.
My father is a milk producer in Époisses and my brothers is about to take over for him. This family tie obviously has a lot to do with my professional commitment.
A milk producer with Gaec since 2005 at “Tout-i-Faut” in Magny-Lambert (21450) with her husband Thierry.
Why did you get into this sector?
The dairy farm entered the sector because it is situated in the appellation area and because the dairy cattle races required by the specifications are those raised on the farm (French Simmental, brune). The milk produced at my farm is used for local processing which makes it famous. It's an undeniable plus that brings meaning to my trade.
What are the major constraints in connection with the specifications?
The diet is more costly during some periods as several dietary supplements are prohibited by the specifications. The work is also longer and morecomplicated given the constant surveillance required as far as health matters, the orientation of the production to summer milk and the demand on cheese factories.