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Are There Certifications for Cheesemongers in France?


The breathtaking scope of cheeses in a French cheese shop
Q
French cheese shops are often breathtaking in range and quality of product. Are there special certifications for becoming a cheesemonger in France?
A
Currently, it’s not mandatory that French cheesemongers have any special training or certification, apart from health and hygiene procedures and regulations about handling dairy products. But in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to open a cheese shop without relevant knowledge. Many cheesemongers attend our training center to learn the ropes. Later on they often return to improve their skills.

We do have an important competition that I help organize called Meilleurs Ouvrier de France (MOF) that translates to “Best Craftsmen of France.” It takes place every three years and allows for specialized crafts- and tradesmen in a variety of fields—including cheesemongers—to compete for the top honor of earning their “red, white, blue collar.” It’s very difficult and requires a massive professional, personal, and financial investment in the time and energy it takes to prepare for it. But if you win, it is a coup—and your reputation and excellence in your field is unquestioned.

Feature Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Cheesemonger Caroline Boquet

Caroline Boquet is a French cheesemonger, also known as a fromager or cremier, who works for the Centre de Formation des Produits Laitiers and the Syndicat des Fromagers de France. Boquet trains cheesemongers and hotel students serving cheese in restaurants. She specializes in dairy technology, sensory evaluation of cheeses, and their accompaniments.