French monks launch emergency online cheese sale
Over 2.8 tonnes of raw-milk cheese are waiting for a buyer
Cistercian Monks living in Cîteaux Abbey, a monastery in Dijon (France) are desperate to get rid of unsold artisanal cheese before it goes past its expiration date. The monks usually sell their raw-milk, semi-soft discs to restaurants and visitors but the on-and-off Covid restrictions in France are keeping buyers away and restaurants closed, which means cheese production has been exceeding demand since the start of pandemic.
The monks have tried to adjust production to meet demand but the problem is they still have some of the cheese they'd produced before Covid hit. A 2.8-tonne supply of 4,000 cheeses is available and brother Jean-Claude says he's confident they're going to make it as 700 kg have already been ordered.
Brother Jean-Claude, in charge of marketing at the 923-year-old monastery (founded in 1098), said they need to clear out stock because "Our sales are down nearly 50%. We tried explaining to our 75 cows that they needed to produce less milk but they don’t seem to have understood."
They've teamed up with Divine Box, a start-up that helps abbeys and monasteries sell their culinary products, to accelerate the process. The minimum order is two wheels at 23 euros (£20) each, plus shipping.