The Ussières cheese dairy
Several cheese dairies have recently embarked on major projects: new buildings, extensions or renovations.
The new Ussières cheese dairy, located between the Gros de Vaud and the Jorat, produced its first Gruyère AOP on 4 December 2018. It was a proud moment for the team who had worked tirelessly on the project for seven years. The result: a brand new building with a cellar ready to accommodate the 244 tonnes of Gruyère produced each year.
"We wanted everyone to feel at home."
Roger Rod, President of the dairy company
The old dairy of Ropraz was in disrepair. Located in the centre of the village, next to the church, the building was too small to meet new standards and there was no space available to create a cellar, which was lacking. So in 2011, the dairy companies in Ropraz and Vucherens took things in hand. "We were fortunate that in Ropraz, a well-placed, prominent piece of land, which was originally planned as a public utility zone, had been turned into an artisanal zone," recalls Roger Rod, President of the new dairy company that worked on the project. Once the land had been reserved through the municipality, the two dairy companies embarked on a feasibility study.
Luck was once again on their side when producers in Vulliens, a neighbouring village, were granted permission to produce Gruyère AOP. "Before, our milk was used for the production of Valais raclette cheese," says Stéphane Thonney, a milk producer in Vulliens. "As we met all the standards for producing Gruyère AOP, we had put ourselves on a waiting list at the IPG. After more than 10 years of waiting, as soon as we were accepted, we discussed the possibility of joining the project."
The initiators of the project decided to dissolve their dairy company and create a new company composed of Ropraz, Vucherens and Vulliens. "It was important to be all in the same boat, to be co-owners," says Eric Charpillod, milk producer in Vucherens and secretary of the new company, very involved in the project. "We wanted everyone to feel at home," adds Roger Rod.
As the cheesemaker from Ropraz was ready to carry on the adventure, he also invested in this project. "We visited several new cheese dairies," explains Christophe Streit. "My main focus was on the equipment. As it's an important investment, it was essential to make wise choices." After spending three months in the new Ussière cellars, the Gruyère AOP cheeses finish their maturing process in the molasse cellars of Fromco SA in Moudon.
Today, Christophe Streit is happy. He has as much work as before, as there is more milk. But the automated cleaning makes things easier. "Above all, I want to point out that everything is now on one level, on a single floor. That's great!" The Ussières dairy company is equally enthusiastic: "Now when the inspectors pass by," smiles Eric Cherpillod, "our premises are in order. We are zen!"