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02 April 2008

West Cork Natural Champions

Just in case you missed the Observer's latest Food Monthly, hearty congrats are due to Bill Hogan and Sean Ferry, the makers of Gabriel and Desmond cheeses, who netted the judges Outstanding Achievement Award. The legal travails which Mr Ferry and Mr Hogan have had to endure are dealt with in the article, and one imagines that their courage in facing up to the legal juggernaut that is the combined Departments of Agriculture and Food Safety was a factor in garnering West Cork Natural Cheeses this important international prize. Well done guys!
As someone who observed the West Cork Natural Cheese legal battles, it has always amazed me that more was not made of one hugely significant disclosure that arose during the case.
This concerned the fact that whilst the WCNC cheeses were to be destroyed – without compensation – because of the discovery of the tb virus in one herd from which Bill and Sean bought milk, the animal that tested positive had the infected tissue removed, and then the rest of the meat went back into the food chain. Incredible! One rule for farmers and meat producers, another for cheesemakers.