France has no more cheese for the end of year celebrations? – .

France has no more cheese for the end of year celebrations? – .

Often during the pandemic, France found itself with an overabundance of cheese. In June 2020, at the height of restaurant closures, cheese producers were struggling due to reduced sales and were reporting an excess of brie and Roquefort of up to 5,000 tonnes.

A few months later, exactly a year ago, people were buying 300% more raclette cheese (where slices of cheese are melted and then poured over potatoes and eaten with salami or ham) usually made in from Alpine cow’s milk. Psychologists thought it was calming, allowing people to replicate at home the hearty meals they would have eaten at restaurants and ski resorts, which remained closed until 2021.

A year later, it just might be the worst thing imaginable – that the country known for its love of cheese, could find itself without enough before the holiday season. However, this time it’s because of the weather.

The summer was unusually wet, which meant that less hay was produced to feed the cows. As a result, these cows didn’t produce as much milk, which resulted in a lot less cheese. Arnauld Dischamp, vice-president of Dischamp cheese makers – who have been making Auvergne cheeses since 1911 – recounts BFM TV that the volumes they were collecting so far were 15-20% lower than normal. This makes him fear that there is not enough to supply restaurants and households that wish to increase their consumption of cheese during the holiday season.

According to France’s very strict regional controls on food and wine production, producers are not allowed to fill product shortages with that of another region.

It is not the only region facing food shortages due to the weather. The Haute-Loire region has seen its lentil harvest in half, various vegetable harvests have fallen across the country and honey is down 80% in Alsace, on the border between France and Germany.


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