A whole village makes cheese
A whole village makes cheese
Everything gets going at the crack of dawn – at four in the morning. The dairy staff take the cheese out of the press, date it by hand and place it into a salt bath. Busy hands clean the equipment. There’s no time to waste: At 6.30 the farmers from Gunzesried will be bringing more fresh milk for the dairy to make into new Allgäu cheese. The working day finishes at 12 o’clock - but the work is far from done.
Cheese has been produced with passion in Bavaria’s oldest dairy in Gunzesried since 1892. The small operation is an important part of the “green agriculture” of the Allgäu - as the milk and cheese industry is called. The special feature of this particular dairy is that it is a cooperative, which has been owned by the local farmers since being set up on 4th January 1892.
They all work hand in hand and are a tightly knit group.
The dairy keeps the local agriculture alive and secures the future of the local farmers. It characterises the life of the community: In Gunzesried, a whole village makes cheese - from the dairy staff to the sales staff in the shop and the farmers, who supply the precious raw material of milk to make the cheese. As local traditionalists they all work hand in hand and are a tightly knit group.
A piece of Allgäu identity in every wheel of cheese
Peter Haslach is one of these twelve farmers and managing director of the dairy. He is proud of the small business, which successfully combines innovative ideas, modern technology and tradition.
In every wheel of cheese that comes from the Sennerei Gunzesried dairy there is both traditional craftsmanship and a piece of Allgäu identity. During the production process the dairy staff add rennet and bacteria to produce the cheese - all by hand. They only ever use milk from the Gunzesried Valley. And for good reason: “I want to be able to say to the customers: The cheese that you are buying was made from milk from the cows outside”, explains Peter Haslach. The business would therefore never buy milk from elsewhere.
Modern business with traditional values
There are some things that simply won’t change. That’s what tradition is all about. This doesn’t stop Peter Haslach from trying new things from time to time. “We are a traditional dairy operation with some unconventional ideas”, he says. For example, when the business was at a loss to know what to do with the whey - a by-product of cheese production - he thought outside the box. Today they use it to produce methane to heat the whole operation in a sustainably.
'We are a traditional dairy operation with some unconventional ideas.'
It may be this very mixture that makes the cheese produced by the Sennerei Gunzesried dairy so irresistible – the mixture of a passion for traditionally produced cheese, the solidarity of an entire village and the courage to try new things.