The Massachusetts Cheese Guild, Inc. is a Massachusetts not-for-profit corporation (501(c)(6)) with this mission:
- Advance the production, image, and enjoyment of premier cheeses from Massachusetts;
- Encourage and support the production of artisan and farmstead cheese, including cultured dairy products such as yogurt, made from Massachusetts milk or curd by Massachusetts cheese makers;
- Educate the public and those in the cheese business about Massachusetts cheeses.
March, 2016: As an organization that represents artisanal cheesemakers, corporate partners, retailers, and enthusiasts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Cheese Guild recently enlisted the assistance of our representatives in Congress to gain clarification of the FDA’s proposal to revise its non-toxigenic E. coli standard for raw milk cheeses. It is the position of the MA Cheese Guild and of other industry organizations that the proposed standard is inconsistent with internationally-recognized microbiological guidance established by the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) and could have a negative impact on traditional cheese producers and related local economies in the Commonwealth.
The Guild is a member of the Oldways Cheese Coalition, an organization leading the fight to preserve opportunities for cheese lovers in the US to buy and enjoy raw-milk and other traditional cheeses and to advocate for transparency in new regulations affecting traditional cheesemaking practices. In cooperation with Oldways’ advocacy efforts, the Guild has joined requests that the FDA consider the feedback of artisanal cheesemakers, consumers, and the scientific community. We have asked the FDA to clarify what evidence exists to demonstrate that raw milk cheeses produced under current practices place public health at risk, warranting a more stringent standard.
We are pleased to note that, as of February 8, 2016, the FDA agreed to pause its testing program for non-toxigenic E. coli in cheese and stated,
“In response, we want to first acknowledge our respect for the work of the artisan cheesemakers who produce a wide variety of flavorful, high-quality cheeses using raw milk and our appreciation for the great care that many take to produce raw milk cheeses safely. We understand the concerns expressed by some cheesemakers, as well as lawmakers, and intend to engage in a scientific dialogue on these issues.”
The Guild will continue to monitor and participate in that dialogue and to pursue advocacy efforts on behalf of raw milk cheesemakers.
Our Officers & Directors:
- Peter Lovis – President, The Concord Cheese Shop, Concord, MA
- Alison Holmes – Vice President, Seacrest Foods, Lynn, MA
- Barbara Hanley – Treasurer, Shy Brothers Farm, Westport, MA
- Ronna Davis – Clerk, Enthusiast, Sterling, MA
- Beth Falk – Executive Director, Mill City Cheesemongers, Lowell, MA
- Marie-Laure Couet, Couet Fromagerie, Dudley, MA
- Gannon Long, Appleton Farms/Trustees of Reservations, Ipswich, MA
- Ed Lawton, Foxboro Cheese, Foxboro, MA
- Bob Stetson, Westfield Farm, Hubbardston, MA
- Bill Sloane, Price Sloane Specialty Marketing, Sudbury, MA
Sponsor Trade Members
Regional Sponsor Charter Member:
Whole Foods Market North Atlantic Region
|Charter Member Seacrest Foods Int’l||Charter Member The Concord Cheese Shop|
|Charter Member Shubie’s Marketplace||Lees Market|
|Charter Member Paul W. Marks Co., Inc.||Charter Member WB Cheese|