What makes organic cheese?

Organic products and organic cheese are in great demand. But what exactly is behind this? When can a cheese be called organic? We got to the bottom of this question and have summarized the criteria for organic cheese for you in this blog article. 

Fresh organic milk:
This is the main raw material for producing high-quality organic cheese. In order for the cheese to ultimately be sold in organic quality, the organic guidelines must be adhered to along the entire value chain. For this reason, it is very important to know what happens on the farm and how the milk is processed into organic cheese in the cheese dairy.

The milk for Swiss organic cheese comes from Swiss farms that are certified according to the Bio-Knospe (or CH-BIO) guidelines. Animal welfare, animal husbandry and animal nutrition play an important role here.

Animal welfare:
Farmers are responsible for treating animals with respect. Cows are kept in groups, as they are herd animals by nature. When selecting the animals, care is taken to ensure that they are local and resistant breeds. Genetic engineering is an absolute taboo on organic farms and the preventative use of antibiotics is also not permitted. As a result, organic farmers rely on complementary medicine or take other measures to promote health.

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Animal nutrition - animal feed:
What the cow eats has a direct influence on the composition of the milk. Cows on certified organic farms are fed at least 95% grass, hay or silage. The proportion of concentrated feed such as maize or barley may not exceed 5%. Compared to EU organic milk, this requirement is much stricter because up to 40% concentrated feed is permitted in the EU. Studies show that feeding grass and hay increases the proportion of healthy unsaturated fatty acids.

Animal husbandry:
Animals on organic farms get plenty of exercise and spend a lot of time grazing, where they can forage for the best grasses, flowers and herbs. According to the legal requirements, this means that cows are allowed out to pasture at least 26 days a month during the growing season. In winter, the cattle are also allowed into the exercise yard at least 13 times a month. It is also important that the barn meets the needs of the cows as well as possible. In practice, it is therefore important that the barn offers sufficient space for the animals, that the rooms are bright and that bedding is available. Ideally, the barn should be designed as a free stall barn so that the cows can move freely and also have the opportunity to go outside. With regard to tie stalls, it is all the more important that the cows are given sufficient exercise.

Cheese dairy:
In the cheese dairy, the high-quality organic milk is processed into organic cheese. From the delivery of the milk to the finished end product, the legal requirements must be fully complied with throughout the production of organic products. This also means that all process steps must be documented and complete traceability must be guaranteed. In cheese dairies in particular, where conventional milk and organic milk are processed, strict separation of these two production lines is essential. If other ingredients are used during cheese production, such as herbs, these must also be organically grown. Ultimately, a first-class organic cheese product can only be produced if the milk is handled with care throughout the entire production process.

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The natural cheese box from cheezy:
Have you got a taste for fine organic cheese? Then discover our "Natural" cheese box, which is available either as a single box or as a subscription. Every month we put together a selection of unique organic cheeses from cheese dairies all over Switzerland. Let us convince you.



Simple, convenient and always surprising. Swiss cheese enjoyment at home.