Recognised as a Controlled Designation of Origin in 1991, Époisses is now governed by French Decree No. 2010-1092 of 15 September 2010, which officially approved the designation specifications.
Époisses is also recognised in Europe by EU regulation no. 1107/96 of 12 June 1996, modified by Commission Regulation (EC) no. 828/2003 of 14 May 2003, as a Protected Designation of Origin and Commission Regulation (EC) no. 942/2008 of 25 September 2008.
The Époisses Designation of Origin specifications indicate the main key points and target values defining the conditions of the milk production (16 key points) and manufacture (14 key points).
Quality cheese factory controls
Internal farm audit
In addition to the self-controls conducted by milk producers and manufacturers at the different milk production and cheese transformation stages in the form of internal controls organised by the ODG and performed by approved technicians, the Association for the Defence of Époisses has contracted with the Certification Authority CERTIPAQ to conduct external controls.
CERTIPAQ performs independent controls at the transformation plants and at the dairy farms through the ODG in accordance with an official control plan which is validated by the INAO (French National Institute for Designations of Origin and Quality).
It also supervises product control: experts are regularly invited to control samples at least four times per year: random samples with assessments of the outer look of the cheese, the spread and the flavour.
An official Époisses sampling panel
These official controls are done at a rather high frequency as a guarantee that consumers will find Époisses on the market that were produced by expert manufacturers in accordance with the Protected Designation of Origin specifications.