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PDO - Our Provenance

All the Cheddars produced by members of the West Country group have been awarded the prestigious Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, alongside Parma Ham from Italy and Champagne from France.

Cheddar cheese is made all over the world, but when it comes to great Farmhouse Cheddar there is no substitute for the real thing – cheese made on farms in the West Country according to the region’s traditional methods with milk from the region’s cows. The EU PDO regulations enshrine these features and are what make our Cheddars taste so special.

The PDO regulations protect the names of traditional foods in order to define their authenticity and preserve their place of origin, traditional methods of production and essential ingredients. West Country Farmhouse Cheddar is one of a small and exclusive list of British foods protected in this way.

Any food of PDO status must undergo an ongoing process of rigorous auditing. Cheese can only be called ‘West Country Farmhouse Cheddar’ if:

  • It is made using milk from local herds reared and milked in the counties of Somerset, Dorset, Devon or Cornwall. This ensures that the cheese has a particular texture and flavour.
  • It contains no colouring, no flavouring and no preservatives.
  • It is made in these four counties to traditional methods. These methods include the cheese being made by hand and the unique process known as ‘cheddaring’.
  • It is made and matured on the farm and aged for at least 9 months. Authentic Farmhouse Cheddar doesn’t leave the farm from the moment the milk arrives from the parlour until it’s ready to cut and pack. This means the Cheddar remains in the care of the farmer who can ensure that it is produced and stored to the very highest standards required of a premium cheese.

In order to retain our PDO status we must also adhere to the very highest standards of food production as set out in statutes such as the Food Safety Act, Food Safety Regulations, Dairy Products Regulations and Food Labelling Regulations.

The PDO symbol is a sign of great taste and your guarantee of quality. PDO status is confirmation of the care and attention to detail that we invest in each and every cheese we make.