What began in 2006 as an exchange of practical information among german and french farmhouse cheesemakers continues to develop further into a European farmhousecheese network. During the International Goat Convention in France in September 2009 all of the representatives from France, Italy, Germany and Canada agreed that the cooperation should be expanded further.
Since then, farmhouse and artisan cheese makers from several European countries have been working together on areas of common concern such as sanitary regulation, preservation of traditional knowledge, the exchange of experiences, difficulties for small scale dairies and the need for flexibility in the application of regulation. Consequently, FACEnetwork association was created in 2013 with the objective to represent and defend the interests of farmhouse and artisan cheese and dairy producers on a national and European level.
So far, our organisation has gained the support of farmhouse and artisan cheese and dairy producers, technical and research centres, farmers associations, laboratories, veterinaries and sanitary authorities from 15 countries within Europe.
FACEnetwork keeps up to date on regulations concerning our sector and develops and disseminates common positions towards European institutions. Recent topics have been:
- Nutritional labelling: position paper and meeting at DG Sanco in 2013
- Labelling of milk origin: position paper in May 2015 and work with other
organisations through CDG quality and promotion
- Conference “Flexibility” organized in Milan in June 2015 by DG SANTE
- Regulation concerning STEC: common work actually in progress
- Farmhouse and Artisan Cheese and dairy producer’s European Guide for Good Hygiene Practices endorsed in December 2016 and available on EU-Commission website
Since August 2014, FACEnetwork holds one seat each in the two Civil Dialog groups (CDG) “Milk” and “Quality & Promotion” of European Commission (DG Agri). CDG have to fulfil a role of assistance to the Commission in a regular dialogue by bringing about an exchange of experiences and good practise, advising on policy and monitoring policy development.
The notion of “flexibility” is now integrated in all the training programs of “Better Training for Safer Foods”, a training program of DG Sanco for national sanitary inspectors.
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Please find below a short introduction of FACEnetwork in the languages of our European members: