While reading through some topics here, an Idea struck me,
I don't know what the ACS does exactly, I know they are a cooperative and advocacy group for cheese producers,
but I think there are some needs for the US cheesemaking industry
Specifically, small cheesemaking companies is a recent phenomenon in this country. There is not a whole lot of infrastructure in place, and not a whole lot of support underneath. COmpare this especially to France and Switzerland, where there is a great deal of such infrastructure.
I don't know how it works in France, but in Switzerland you have a large network of schools cooperating with the local producers to train cheesemakers, you have lobbying groups that protect their rights at the Cantonal and Federal level, and you have a number of private firms that exist to experiment, to inspect and advise companies on everything from cleanliness to efficient layout and operation.
I think what we need right now, facing government review, is organizations run neither by cheesemakers nor the government that experiment, observe, test, and determine what is and what is not good practice. Such organizations would be invaluable in setting policy, and also for helping us as cheesemakers to understand what is and is not good practice.
Remember the 5k plus year tradition in the alps, but also remember this comes with considerable training and is backed by a great deal of know-how. In my opinion, Americans are trying to copy these practices but don't actually understand them. It would do us good to have an infrastructure in place to increase our understanding.
If this were the case, we would have considerably more strength to negotiate with the government -we would be able to negotiate from a point of experience and science, which is the only way we are going to win this fight.