The finest Le Gruyère AOP from the Canton of Vaud is made at the Fromagerie du Haut-Jorat

‘Never two without three’, according to the popular saying. In Peney-le-Jorat, cheesemaker René Pernet has confirmed it! The first winner of the " Le Gruyère AOP d'excellence du Canton de Vaud " award in 2013, he has done it again in 2019 and will be at the top of the honours list again in 2024.

22 Feb 2024
Around Le Gruyère AOP Contests

« Avoir déjà reçu la distinction n’enlève rien à la joie d’être à nouveau récompensé ».

René Pernet, directeur de la fromagerie du Haut-Jorat

Born into a family of cheesemakers from Thierrens, René Pernet took over the reins of the Peney-le-Jorat cheese dairy in 2005. Renamed the "Fromagerie du Haut-Jorat" when the "Société de fromagerie du Haut-Jorat" was created, it has expanded over the years around the original building, where cheese has been made since 1893. A cellar, 300 metres away, inaugurated in 2006, completes the infrastructure. In a few weeks' time, thanks to an installation of solar panels, it will be completely self-sufficient.

The recipe for success: good milk, high-performance facilities, a skilled team.

Every day, a team of twelve people work to make Le Gruyère AOP. René Pernet had them in mind when the results of the competition were announced: "Having already received the award does not detract from the joy of being rewarded again, quite the contrary. Some of my colleagues have been with me for more than 20 years, one of them for 35. Like me, they are driven by a passion for their craft and a taste for excellence," smiles the cheesemaker. In his view, success rests on 3 fundamental pillars: the quality and maintenance of the facilities, the skill level of the team and the quality of the milk. On this last point, he explains: "Each of the producers pays the utmost attention to the quality of their milk. It's very clear between us: less than excellent milk doesn't get diluted in the mass". The awards from the Vaud State Council, such as the 5 medals presented to Fromagerie du Haut-Jorat by the corporation, also attest to the joint efforts of a close-knit dairy society. In the words of Marc-Antoine Bigler: "This is a collective success for the industry: my fellow farmers and I are not milk producers; we are producers of Le Gruyère AOP, which is widely recognised for its quality."

Confidence in the future

Celebrating successes to soften an increasingly unfavourable context? "We mustn't give in to a pessimistic attitude," says René Pernet, "the dairy industry is attracting new profiles." He adds that despite the current challenges, the price of milk remains stable at 95 centimes per litre, a rate applied by all the cheese dairies in the Le Gruyère AOP sector.

Marc-Antoine Bigler is convinced that milk production is the best way to make the most of our grassland. He concludes: "Those who accept our working conditions will inherit ancestral know-how and have a good life."

In figures :

  • 16 million kilos of milk processed annually
  • Cellar capacity: 8,500 wheels
  • 32 companies involved in facility maintenance
  • 14 milk producers

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