In June 2015, the Association des fromagers artisans du Québec (AFAQ) filed an application for authorization of the added-value claim Fromage fermier. Farmer’s cheese is made by producer/processors from milk that comes from their farm: one farmer, one farm, one herd. Farmer’s cheeses may be made from raw, heated or pasteurized milk from cows, goats, sheep or water buffalo.
According to the proposed standard, the added-value claim Fromage fermier and any other qualifier designating a farm origin is reserved for cheese that has been made and ripened by an agricultural cheesemaker/producer on the site of their cheese dairy, contains only milk from their herd, and is elaborated using non-automated techniques that are traditional or specific to cheesemaking.
The applicants saw the Act respecting reserved designations and added-value claims as a means of providing balanced information about the various methods of manufacturing cheeses. Ensuring that products in the Fromage fermier category are differentiated based on their inimitable intrinsic qualities is a matter of fundamental importance for these makers.