A deal has been signed by the UK government to allow a dozen British raw milk cheeses to be exported to Australia.
Up until now, Australia had only allowed two types of raw milk cheese to be imported – and both are from France.
But in a landmark mini deal signed on 20 July – which has been four years in the making – 12 British raw milk cheeses will be allowed to be exported down under.
The list includes iconic Red Leicester, Gloucester and cheddar artisan cheeses with a long track record for safety in the UK, made by dairy farmers themselves.
Neal’s Yard Dairy, a wholesaler and raw milk cheese expert based in London, said it was delighted by the agreement.
“We look forward to sending our first pallets of raw milk cheeses to Australia very soon!” said the company in a statement on its website.
“Stamp of excellence”
Defra farm minister Victoria Prentis said: “British cheese is famous around the world for its taste, quality and heritage, and today’s agreement is a sign of that stamp of excellence.
“I am delighted British raw milk cheesemakers will be able to sell their produce to Australia for the first time ever.
“This may be a small market, but it is evidence of the work this government is doing on all fronts to expand export opportunities for British farmers and producers.”