Produced for over 830 years, by its very nature Tête de Moine PDO is a sustainable product. All the partners in the production chain have to comply with strict requirements in terms of sustainability and the wellbeing of the animals.
The dairy farms in the Tête de Moine PDO region are all family-run. They each own, manage and look after about 30 cows on average.
By exploiting the mountain pastures, they prevent the slopes from being overrun by forest and scrub, thus preserving nature and maintaining biodiversity. At the same time, small farms ensure that herds and fodder pastures are kept to a reasonable size. In this way, the natural cycle of the land is not overworked and the agricultural pasture is exploited in a sustainable manner.
Watch our films, “Oh the cow” and “The hay is good” (in French) to see for yourself the excellent conditions under which our cheese is produced.
The requirements for Tête de Moine cheese from Bellelay
- 70% of the calculated dry matter (DM) ration of the dairy cattle as a whole must come from the farm's own forage area or from adjacent communal pastures.
- The use of somatotropin, urea or products containing urea, meat and bone meal as well as growth hormones or similar products is prohibited;
- Feeding of silage of any kind to livestock (including wrapped bales) is prohibited all the year round;
- During the green feeding period, dairy cows must be grazed for at least 120 days.
Environmental Benefit Requirements
The Environmental Benefit Requirements (EBRs) are the basis for sustainable agriculture and are really significant, since all our milk producers comply with them. They are not only the undisputed standard for ecological farming in Switzerland but also a precondition for receiving direct payments from the federal government. The requirements set out in the EBRs are stringent and cover all aspects of sustainable production: respectful rearing of the animals, insemination, crop rotation, environmental set-aside areas and adequate protection of the soil.
Details of the requirements can be found under the following link (in german, french and italian): www.admin.ch - Environmental Benefit Requirements
Monitoring of compliance with these provisions is carried out by an independent certification body.
Cheese dairies and cheese maturing
- The distance between the farms and the dairies is only a few kilometres.
- All of our cheese dairies participate in the voluntary federal CO2 reduction programmes.
- They mainly use sustainable sources of energy such as local wood or natural gas.
- They also have a high proportion of solar panels for producing photovoltaic or thermal energy.
- The recycling of by-products and waste complies with the very strict requirements of Swiss law.
My region of origin
My region of origin is characterised by its mountainous nature, limestone soil, vast expanses of forest, wooded pastures and extensive agriculture, which makes it possible to exploit the green pastures that would otherwise be difficult for humans in any other way. The high rainfall in this mountainous region makes the use of artificial irrigation for fodder production unnecessary.
The region is characterised by the high proportion of renewable wind and solar energy. It has the largest wind farm in Switzerland, ensuring a high degree of energy autonomy for the region based on clean energy.