Vermont Cheese Sees Challenges and Opportunities in Shifting Markets




WAITSFIELD, Vermont  –  As the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted consumer behaviors across the U.S., cheesemakers in Vermont have had to juggle to find new ways to connect with their consumers.  As part of the $650 million cheese industry in Vermont, their products are often featured in restaurants in the New York City and Boston areas, retailed in specialty food shops, sold at storefronts on farms, or passed into consumers’ hands at farmers markets.  The shift seen in consumers’ abilities to access these locations has dramatically impacted many cheesemakers’ abilities to sell their products, resulting in 50-70% reductions in sales in most cases.

Lost sales channels are particularly disruptive for cheesemakers.  Even if they stop producing cheese, the milking animals found on dairy farms continue to produce milk.  This means that either cheesemakers continue making cheese, without a sufficient market for their cheeses, or they discard or divert their incoming milk supply.  Neither situation is sustainable for even a short period of time.

As some fear that the long-term impacts of COVID-19 may severely impact artisan and farmstead cheesemakers, shifting strategy to selling product online or through specialty and artisan food stores’ websites is providing some hope for cheesemakers. In response to consumer inquiries regarding where the public can buy locally-produced cheese and help support cheesemakers, the Vermont Cheese Council has launched an Online Sales Directory.  This directory provides website visitors with the ability to:

  • Purchase cheese directly from a cheesemaker, if the producer has an online shop
  • Find local cheese shops that offer Vermont cheeses and cheese boxes or baskets (often shipped or delivered door-to-door) in the New York City and Boston areas, as well as a few other locations around the U.S.

“We’ve heard that people are looking for comfort foods, and cheese is one of those foods. Whether it’s making mac ‘n’ cheese with Vermont cheddar and smoked gouda or spreading a softer cheese on toast – we’ve found consumers are turning to those dishes that feel most satisfying to sit down and dig into,” says Marty Mundy, Executive Director of the Vermont Cheese Council.  “I think it’s also important to remind people that if they want local farms to remain in operation, cheese, dairy, and other locally-produced products still need to be bought by consumers.  How consumers choose to spend their money during this time will have a big impact on the sustainability of local dairy farmers and the cheese industry in the region.”

The Vermont Cheese Council’s Online Sales Directory may be found at www.vtcheese.com/vtcheesing

More information regarding the impact of the dairy industry on Vermont may be found here:  https://vermontdairy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/VTD_MilkMatters-Brochure_OUT-pages.pdf


About the Vermont Cheese Council: The Vermont Cheese Council represents cheesemakers throughout Vermont who are dedicated to the production and image of premier cheese. Our mission includes hosting educational events for the public and food professionals in order to learn more about the art and science of artisan and farmstead cheeses made in Vermont.

Press Contact:  Marty Mundy

Vermont Cheese Council



Vermont Cheese Sees Challenges and Opportunities in Shifting Markets2020-04-08T11:02:31-04:00

Announcing the Good Food Finalists for 2018


good food awards logo

Congratulations to the outstanding 279 food & drink crafters from 40 states and Washington, DC


San Francisco, CA (November 7, 2017) – The Good Food Foundation is proud to announce the 279 companies in the running for a Good Food Award in 2018. The Finalists represent not just the best of America’s food movement, but the qualities we love most about this country: our rich cultural diversity, vibrant agricultural landscape, and the creativity and integrity of its small business owners.


The 15 categories the Good Food Awards celebrate – from spirits to cheese to coffee – comprise over

$200 billion of America’s gross domestic product, a greater portion than the cattle and pork industries combined. The 2018 Finalists represent the vanguard in each of their industries, setting new standards for gastronomic excellence as well as social and environmental practices that have over time proven to be adopted by the rest of the industry. Each Finalist rose to the top in a blind tasting of 2,057 entries, and also passed a rigorous vetting to confirm they meet Good Food Awards standards regarding supply chain transparency, environmentally sound agricultural practices, humane animal husbandry and deep community engagement.


Amongst their ranks are Mehdi Boujrada of Villa Jerada, who brings the flavors of his childhood home in Morocco to Seattle; Mark Sanfilippo of Salume Beddu, who crafts Tuscan-style salami in Saint Louis; and Ayako Iino, who combines Japanese tradition with California plums to make her ume pickles, syrups, and preserves. All of the Finalists – including 162 companies (58%) that have never won before

– partner with hundreds of farmers, ranchers and fishermen to actively build a better food system.


The Winners will be announced on Friday, January 19, 2018, at a gala in the historic San Francisco War Memorial, followed by two days of celebration including the public Good Food Awards Marketplace (Tickets: $5) and the industry-only Good Food Mercantile (Tickets: $35). A limited number of tickets are available to join the Winners and honorary host Alice Waters, pioneer of the food movement, at the Awards Ceremony (Tickets: $165).


Organizers & Supporters:

The Good Food Awards are organized by the Good Food Foundation 501 (c) 3. The Presenting Sponsor is the Good Food Merchants Collaborative, comprised of 22 of the country’s top independently-owned retailers from Austin to Oakland to Sioux Falls, all of whom are committed to supporting America’s great food crafters. Joining them is a vibrant group of key supporters, including Premier Sponsors Williams-Sonoma, Bi-Rite Market, Vermont Cheese Council and Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture; and Lead Sponsors Dominic Phillips Event Marketing, Impact HUB Bay Area, Gamut SF, Ten Speed Press, The Perennial and Veritable Vegetable. Special thanks to the Collaborative Members:



Antonelli’s Cheese Shop

Bi-Rite Market Canyon Market Cowgirl Creamery Cured

Di Bruno Bros. Each Peach Market Foragers Market

Glen’s Garden Market Good Earth Natural Foods The Greene Grape Healdsburg SHED

JM Stock Provisions Liberty Heights Fresh Look’s  Market Market Hall Foods

Palace Market

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & […]

Announcing the Good Food Finalists for 20182017-11-13T14:42:11-05:00

The Fundamentals of Cheesemaking with Ivan Larcher

Course Summary:  Fundamentals of Artisan Cheese is an intensive nine-day program for aspiring and practicing cheesemakers. Offered in partnership with the Cellars at Jasper Hill and led by world-renowned master cheesemaker and educator Ivan Larcher, this course provides students with the practical and scientific knowledge needed to create exquisite small-scale artisan cheese.
The Fundamentals of Cheesemaking with Ivan Larcher2017-11-13T13:35:23-05:00
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