Consider the Animals is the theme of Cheese 2021, and naturally, of the conferences. To allow a wider public to take part in these conferences, including those who can’t come to the event physically, this year the conferences will be held online.

We’ll develop different approaches to this main theme through considerations of the relationships between human beings and the animal kingdom.

The conferences will of course focus on the relationship between herders and their animals.

Conferences at Cheese
Conference at Cheese 2019 in Biodiversity House. Photo: Paolo Properzi

Conferences to Consider the Animals

Because for herders, their animals are more than a precious ally; their daily lives revolve around the animals, defining their lifestyle. This isn’t limited to the herders and their goats or sheep, but the choice of pastures to graze them, and the efforts made to main rich, fertile and productive soil. Herders must also be capable of defending their herds from wolves, and of training dogs that can protect the herd is of vital importance.

A window on the natural

From the big to the small, from milking animals to the world of microorganisms and bacteria, the conferences will return to the theme of the “natural”, which we’ve been developing since 2017. Natural cheeses are still a rarity in a world that has largely surrendered to pasteurization and, even more often, the use of selected ferments produced by a handful of multinationals. It’s another broken link in a chain of relationships with the land that, if protected, are able to offer unique cheeses. Cheeses that that tell a story through their taste and aroma, from the specific characteristics of animal breeds to the herbs and flowers of different pastures.

As well as online conferences, we’ll talk in person at Biodiversity House! Here, as ever, we’ll meet producers and explore aspects of their work, the challenges they face and how they’re striving to overcome them.