Five raw milk cheesemakers challenged guidance from Food Standards Scotland which they claimed would make raw milk cheese production in Scotland unviable.
Five Scottish cheesemakers have succeeded in a crowdfunded campaign against the legality of Food Standards Scotland (FSS) inspection and enforcement guidance for the production of raw milk cheese in Scotland.
Errington Cheese, Isle of Mull Cheese, Galloway Farmhouse Cheese, Cambus O’May Cheese Co. and Finlay’s Farm launched a crowdfunding campaign was launched in February to challenge the FSS.
As a result of the action, the FSS and the Scottish Food Enforcement Liaison Committee (SFELC) has published new guidance, in line with World Health Organisation and EU recommendations.
The advocate representing the cheesemakers dropped the action as a full judicial review was no longer required.
The cheesemakers said they were delighted with the outcome which secured the future of raw milk cheese production in Scotland.
They had been concerned the FSS guidance was contrary to EU industry guidance and would make production ‘unviable’.
Initially requesting a suspension of the Guidance to enable changes to be considered, the group sought legal support and lodged a petition to overhaul the new protocols.
FSS also abandoned its motion to seek expenses against from the cheesemakers.
Selina Cairns, director at Errington Cheese, said: “I want to say a huge thanks to those who have supported us over the past few months. This has been a stressful period everyone and we really could not have done it without the public support. It is a massive relief.
“We do not believe that Food Standards Scotland would have made any changes to the document had we not gone ahead with the judicial review – only made possible by the support given to the crowdfunding campaign.
“We are extremely hopeful that this is the last chapter of what has been an incredibly hard couple of years, with actions from Food Standards Scotland having detrimental impacts on our business and sales growth.
“Now that we have fair and achievable guidelines in place, we look forward to getting back on track with production and sales, with the hope that we can begin to rebuild our local workforce.”