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Social and Historical Context

This particular report is going to outline the proper research findings that relate to the importance of cheese in the United Kingdom as well as the performance of different supply chains of cheese. The gastronomical, sociological, economic, political as well as technological context of cheese will be seen in this paper concerning the country of the United Kingdom (Ghadge, et al 2021). The aspect of performance is specifically related to 5 different dimensions which are namely economic, social, environmental, ethical as well as health. The basic findings of the database on cheese will be elaborated on in this paper.

The action of cheesemaking has been practised for a long period by storing a surplus amount of milk. The localised form of farmhouses production had led to the development of a huge range of cheeses (Van Loo, Grebitus and Roosen, 2019). These had different forms of characteristics that were influenced by the cultural as well as the interrelationship between animal breeds and local climate along with seasonal factors and geology. There have been several varieties of very high-quality cheese which were produced in the UK in ample quantities for personal use as well as trading outside the area of the place where it is being produced. Some of the cheeses such as cheddar cheese has become very famous for commercial use.

During the time of the Second World War, the aspect of cheesemaking in the United Kingdom was the main central work and it was standardised which had led to a far greater consistency as well as efficient work through industrial procedures of production (Pradhan,  2019). Even though it was standardised in the UK the development of cheese resulted in very few cheesemakers who resumed any form of farmhouse production after World War. The main form of industrialisation and the intervention of the state in the production of cheese had continued until the 1980s and was also managed by the postcolonial radiations. This has eroded a lot of territorial characteristics and the distinct uniqueness of several forms of cheese. However, the interest of the consumers about cheese from the year of 1990s had helped to revive the tradition of making craft cheeses in the United Kingdom. Thus, after the advent of the industrial revolution, the cheese-making industry flourished and people started to increase their production from domestic to international production. The varieties of cheese also started to increase as the demand started to increase after the 1990s (Paximada,  Howarth and Dubey,  2021).

Figure 1- production of cheese (White, 2020)

Production of Cheese

There are currently 700 cheese types in the United Kingdom and the production process is very common for all of the varieties of cheese. The main production procedure is the curdling of warmed milk either through natural bacterial action or by adding a coagulant which is generally rennet or any form of non-animal equivalent. They can also be created by a bacterial starter culture which starts with a cheese-making transformation through the conversion of sugar is inside milk into lactic acid. After this procedure, the milk starts to separate into solid forms of goods and the liquid is left behind (Furse, Torres and Koulman, 2019). After that, the curd is generally drained and is manipulated into a particular shape until they reach a proper consistency and a level of acidity. After that salt is added to the processed curd which is pressed into different shapes through the use of moles and is left to mature. They might take 1 to 12 months and it depends on the type of cheese that is being made and the maturity that is desired from it. There are about four lakh tonnes of cheese that are produced nationally in the United Kingdom and a quarter of it is exported worldwide (Mane, et al 2019). This helped the country become self-sufficient and depend on its economy rather than import food and other goods from other countries.

The United Kingdom has almost 10,000 milk producers and dairy farming is a sector of agriculture that is very prevalent in the country (Furse, Torres and Koulman, 2019). The main interest of the cheesemakers in this country is promoted by the sheer amount of commercial as well as public networks. These include Dairy UK which generally presents 80% of the meat producers and processors along with the British cheese board which have both environmental and business developmental services.  

Cheese is a very healthy and nutritious food and ingredient which has the greatest number of proteins and minerals in the milk from which it is generally made. It is easy to keep in cool conditions and it adds a new form of versatile as well as valuable flavour to the food which is very evident in the annual per capita consumption of almost 11 KG in the UK. The market penetration of cheese in the UK is also very high and equals over almost 97%. The main form of cheese which is used in the UK is cheddar cheese.

Supply of Milk in the UK

The most amount of cheese is produced for domestic consumption in the UK and it is made by are use kilo industrial processes which starts with the main supply of liquid milk which is the main ingredient for making cheese. The United Kingdom is the ninth biggest producer of milk in the entire world and has an output of more than 14,000,000 tonnes. The milk sector is dominated by companies such as First Milk and Dairy Crest. The state of the milk sector in the United Kingdom is very uncertain and it is volatile. There have been surveys by the NFU in the years 2010 and 11 which has noted that the prices of milk were below the cost of production. Despite these forms of challenges, there is also an oversupply of milk at a huge global level which has had a depressive effect on the prices of milk (Gosalvitr, et al  2021). The present production capacity of United Kingdom cheese has satisfied more than 40% of the national demand and it has also increased the production of milk output we just follow the evolution of different quarters which is directed towards export (Willis, et al 2022).

Figure 2- production in thousand metric tonnes(Expertmarketresearch.com. 2022).

Despite the decline of farmhouses, cheese production increased rapidly because a result of the industrial revolution, by the time was the early 1900s there was a huge amount of cheese was being made on the farm throughout the United Kingdom. The political strife in Europe that had followed the first world war had brought about huge changes in British cheese production. The farming, the market as well as social conditions prevailing in the 1930s was adamant that cheesemaking was not economical. In the 1930s there was a rising and rest because of the growing houses inside Europe which had led the British government to realise the fact that the country could not only be dependent on imports from other countries and they have to become self-sufficient. This had led the country to make the Milk Marketing Board which was designed to control and maximise the production of milk to feed the people of the nation. This is how the trend had started in the United Kingdom and there were huge factories that had produced cheese from milk (Silvestri, et al 2020). This was also a growing tradition during the great depression when people could not afford luxury cheeses and therefore, the farmhouse cheesemakers had to start making economically cheaper amounts of cheese and they started to sell the milk to larger producers of cheese or the MMB.

The Economic Aspect of British Cheese

Cheddar cheese is a variety that is known by most cheese connoisseurs. Sara cheese has a huge history that dates back to the 12th century and it is from the country of England. The name of the cheese has been given after chat or village which is a small town with caves and gorgeous where farmers used to keep the milk so that it could remain cool on the hottest days of the month. The English monarchs have developed a taste for cheddar cheese and there are gods of King Henry to purchasing up to almost £10,250 of cheddar cheese. In the mid-19 century, Joseph Harding had applied science to come up with proper techniques for crafting charities. Tera cheese was the first mass-produced cheese in the United Kingdom and after that, it has spread to the United States of America (Gosalvitr, et al  2021).

In recent years cheesemakers in the United Kingdom have warned the government about their plans to cut up salt in food to make it impossible to produce different varieties of British cheeses. Different food companies have started to set targets to reduce the content of certain products because of unhealthy amounts of salt in some of the supermarket items. Despite this move, the protesters say that it can damage the artisan cheese producers of the United Kingdom because specific levels of salts are very important to create the classic blue Cheese which is very famous in the UK. Groups that include dairy UK have said that the use of particular levels of salts in cheesemaking is a very significant aspect rather than just a part of the recipe which could be adopted (Mahfouz, et al 2020).

 

Figure 3- estimated self-sufficiency production of cheese in the UK (Jack,  2020).

UK farms that supply cheese are feeding the cattle Soya from agri-businesses which are accused of contributing to huge amounts of deforestation in Brazil. This investigation has been done by a bureau known as Green Peace unearthed which has uncovered the aspect of complex supply chains of soya that link British dairy to environmental devastation caused in Brazil (Pearce, 2016). This has become a huge environmental degradation and concerning factor because it raises questions not only about deforestation and destruction of the forest but also the sustainability of soya certification. There need to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly aspects of preparing cheese shortly because the demand for UK cheese is increasing.

 

Figure 4-Europe dairy market (Statista. 2022). 

Origin of Cheddar

The cream cheese market in the United Kingdom was almost equal to 3,000,000,000 USD in 2015.   Until the year 2025, the market of cheese in the United Kingdom is forecast to reach almost 298 billion USD (Ozen and Dinleyici,  2015). This is a huge amount of increase compared to the growth of 0.50% per year. The average per capita consumption has reached 37.8 6USD per capital in 2015. Most of the manufacturers are continuously trying to develop new forms of flavours that are at par with the contemporary tastes of the consumers. The younger population of the United Kingdom seems to be more diverse and adventurous and want new forms of experiences with different cuisines this has made the producers of cheese opt for different forms of exotic tastes in the varieties of cheese. As a result, there are huge kinds of flavour cheese varieties such as spicy as well sweet and other bold flavours. According to the insiders of the industry, some of the most popular types of cheese and flavours include Jalepino and chile and other traditional cheeses such as parsley and garlic flavoured cheese. Another new form of the trend to consider in the industry of dairy is the shift of preference towards full-fat dairy products. According to the insiders of the industry, the full-fat dairy product segment is growing more rapidly than the fat-free alternatives. United Kingdom has started to export cheese and curd to Lebanon in 2021. The aspect of cheese production had experienced a huge setback due to COVID-19 because the export of cheese was stopped for a long time. But that did not stop the domestic consumption of cheese in the United Kingdom.

Cheese is made from the milk of many domestic animals but most commonly it is made from the milk of cows. There are other animals as well such as goats, sheep as well as reindeer whose milk is taken to create cheese. Britain started to produce these thousands of years ago but it was during Roman times that the process of cheesemaking was noticed and different techniques were developed. In the Middle Ages, cheesemaking techniques and creativity were passed to the people and the societies that were formed following the Norman invasion. The tradition of cheesemaking was almost going to die down during World War II with the discovery and dividable of all recipes as well as the development of new forms of cheese has seen the British cheese industry flourish in the present years. The majority of cheese which is made from raw milk is very good because it has microbiological qualities according to recent studies (Mane, et al 2019). There have been a total of 629 samples of cheese which were collected from retailers and manufacturers in England between 2019 and 2020 (Vabre, 2021). The majority of the cheese was made with the milk of cows with 86 made from the milk of sheep and 31 made from milk of goats. After using the European Union microbiological criteria and the UK guidance almost 80% which is more than 500 samples were of satisfactory quality. Cheese is a very good source of calcium and is a very key nutrient for healthy bones and teeth as well as the meaning of wounds. Every individual eating from 19 to 50 years have to consume a Thousand milligrams of calcium per day. 1 ounce of cheddar cheese can provide 20% of this daily requirement of calcium. Cheese is a form and its food and it might help to boost healthy bacteria in the digestive system. This can have a very positive effect on blood cholesterol levels according to a study published in 2015. Cheese is good for health but in moderate amounts. Anything in excessive amounts is not good for health.  Cheese is good for health in moderate amounts and it is also a delicacy. The luxury of cheese is also seen in the huge community of cheese connoisseurs who like to explore the different flavours of cheese.

Cheese has been a huge part of the tradition of the UK because it had revived the sustainability of the UK and made the UK self-sustainable. Several factories were open to solely sell different forms of cheese and it had become a huge part of the cuisine of the United Kingdom. The most common dish in the UK is chips, cheese and gravy. It consists of very deep-fried potato chips which are grated with Cheddar cheese and Beef gravy. This local speciality is very famous with the people of UK and it is very easy to make. Cheese is also used in another national dish of the UK which is known as cheese and onion pie which is comfort food for the people of England. It is consumed all over the country but some sources have suggested that it is more of a north-western tradition. This pie is made with a combination of shortcrust pastry, Cheddar cheese and cooked with fried onions. This example shows how cheese is a very important social factor in the country and it brings people together for centuries. Cheesemaking in the UK is not only a necessity but it has also become art with a lot of different flavours and forms of luxurious cheese which are created in huge amounts and there are cheese connoisseurs who delve deep into the flavours and the composition of every cheese (Donnelly and Kehler, 2016).

The role of cheese as a signifier of the identity is reflected in several forms of valiant names which are derived from different products such as Red Leicester Wensleydale or Cornish Yarg. Using the names of places from the country communicate the fact that all the cheeses are emblems of local pride and they are a result of a community effort. This shows how much the people of England are involved in the creation of cheese and the aspect of self-sustaining.  

The technological effects of cheesemaking effects the quality of the cheese and the texture. There are significant compositional and functional differences that have been reported among the animal species, there is still a lack of cheese making technology on the yield of cheese and the loss of sheep milk. Even so, there have been a lot of technological changes in cheese production in the UK. There has been the reliance on computer software, milk standardization and also the usage of the membrane concentration of milk in the farm or the cheese plant (Cheese and Hills, 2016). There have been changes in the cheese manufacturing protocols as well. There have been major advances in the fields of the genetics of the microorganisms which have resulted in the huge spread of chymosin and also improved the resistance to bacteriophage infection. There have been a lot of technological advancements in the cheese industry which have helped in the development of various kinds of cheese in the UK. These new technologies look after the cheese and milk treatment in the factories, the chemical and natural composition of the milk, the additives which are used and the processing of the cheese (Ozen and Dinleyici, 2015).

Conclusion 

Therefore, the cheese culture, as well as the history of cheese in the UK, is an integral part of the country. The cultural, social, gastronomical and political aspects of cheese in the Uk have been changing from the past and cheese production has increased in the country. The cheddar cheese gave rise to many other flavours and the cheese production spread from being a domestic industry into an international industry. Therefore cheese becomes a form of food which is a space for expressing the local form of identities and the pride which is very strong with consideration to cheese in the United Kingdom.        

It also becomes a food which is the identity of the people of the UK and expresses their history elaborately. The cheese-making culture in the UK has been prevalent since the world war and today it is one of the biggest industries in the country. The techniques of cheese making have also changed and become better which has made the international market more prosperous. By the time it is 2025, the cheese market of the UK will flourish fourfold than the present scenario of the industry. Thus, the cheese manufacturing, history, social and gastronomical aspect of the UK is becoming more relevant and is advancing into a bright future.

References

Cheese, P. and Hills, J., 2016. Understanding the human at work–how neurosciences are influencing HR practices. Strategic HR Review.

Donnelly, C. and Kehler, M., 2016. The Oxford companion to cheese. Oxford University Press.

Expertmarketresearch.com. 2022. Europe Dairy Market Report and Forecast 2022-2027. [online] Available at: <https://www.expertmarketresearch.com/reports/europe-dairy-market> [Accessed 19 March 2022].

Furse, S., Torres, A.G. and Koulman, A., 2019. Fermentation of milk into yoghurt and cheese leads to contrasting lipid and glyceride profiles. Nutrients, 11(9), p.2178.

Ghadge, A., Er Kara, M., Mogale, D.G., Choudhary, S. and Dani, S., 2021. Sustainability implementation challenges in food supply chains: A case of UK artisan cheese producers. Production Planning & Control, 32(14), pp.1191-1206.

Gosalvitr, P., Cuéllar-Franca, R.M., Smith, R. and Azapagic, A., 2021. Integrating process modelling and sustainability assessment to improve the environmental and economic sustainability in the cheese industry. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 28, pp.969-986.

Jack, K., 2020. How self-sufficient is UK cheese production? | AHDB. [online] Ahdb.org.uk. Available at: <https://ahdb.org.uk/news/how-self-sufficient-is-uk-cheese-production> [Accessed 19 March 2022].

Mahfouz, A., Crowe, J., Choudhary, R., Flood, J. and Allan, D., 2020. The implications of Borders Check Delay Post-Brexit on Irish Cheese Export and Supply Chain: a Case Study.

Mane, A., Ciocia, F., Beck, T.K., Lillevang, S.K. and McSweeney, P.L., 2019. Proteolysis in Danish blue cheese during ripening. International dairy journal, 97, pp.191-200.

Ozen, M. and Dinleyici, E.C., 2015. The history of probiotics: the untold story. Beneficial microbes, 6(2), pp.159-165.

Maxima, P., Howarth, M. and Dubey, B.N., 2021. Double emulsions fortified with plant and milk proteins as fat replacers in cheese. Journal of Food Engineering, 288, p.110229.

Pearce, M., 2016. Hard cheese: upland pastoralism in the Italian Bronze and Iron Ages.

Pradhan, S., 2019. Use of iodised salt in cheese manufacturing to improve iodine status of the population in the UK (Doctoral dissertation, University of Central Lancashire).

Silvestri, C., Aquilani, B., Piccarozzi, M. and Ruggieri, A., 2020. Consumer quality perception in traditional food: Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing, 32(2), pp.141-167.

Statista. 2022. Production of cheese UK 2021 | Statista. [online] Available at: <https://www.statista.com/statistics/616651/production-volume-of-cheese-united-kingdom-uk/> [Accessed 19 March 2022].

Vabre, S., 2021. How the cheese board came to crown the French meal (18th–20th century). Food History: A Feast of the Senses in Europe, 1750 to the Present.

Van Loo, E.J., Grebitus, C. and Roosen, J., 2019. Explaining attention and choice for origin labelled cheese using consumer ethnocentrism. Food Quality and Preference, 78, p.103716.

White, K., 2020. Big cheese: cheese category report 2020. [online] The Grocer. Available at: <https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/category-reports/big-cheese-cheese-category-report-2020/646715.article> [Accessed 19 March 2022].

Willis, C., McLAUCHLIN, J., Aird, H., Jørgensen, F., Lai, S. and Sadler-Reeves, L., 2022. Assessment of the Microbiological Quality and Safety of Unpasteurized Milk Cheese for Sale in England between 2019 and 2020. Journal of Food Protection, 85(2), pp.278-286.

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