Support Small Cheesemakers
May marks the beginning of American Cheese Month, and it couldn’t come at a more opportune time for many struggling American cheesemakers.
While all businesses have taken a major hit due to the economic fallout created by Covid-19, small cheesemakers are especially exposed. With most restaurants, farmer’s markets, and small retailers closing, sales have plummeted. As a distributor or retailer, a business can cut purchases to adjust to sales drops and manage risks. But for cheesemakers tied to dairy animals, the milk keeps coming regardless of whether they have an outlet for it. And many have to make the difficult decision of whether to cut off dairy farm suppliers, cull their herds, dump milk, or make cheese and pray they can find somewhere to sell it. Many small cheesemakers, with limited capital and ever-growing inventories, will be facing insolvency as things continue.
It is awkward to ask for help at a time when so many individuals and companies are struggling. But the cold reality is that as the pandemic continues, more and more good cheesemakers will go out of business. But if enough open businesses and concerned consumers can rally for American Cheese Month and beyond, we can minimize the loss.
Feature a cheese in a gift basket or take home tray. Build a small display and added signage to highlight local cheesemakers. Feature one of their stories in an email to your customers. Put a deserving cheese on sale. Share the message. Through collective action we can all do a little bit to shape a brighter future for our industry. Thank you for your consideration.