Like Gruyère which is a region in Switzerland, Emmental is another region of alpine landscapes in the heart of Switzerland. Both regions have given their names to their prestigious cheeses. While some people speak of Swiss Emmental to differentiate it from foreign imitations, in reality there is only one region of Emmental.
PDO are European standards that help guarantee the places of origin of the products mainly in the food and particularly for the cheeses. PDO of the terroir helps the consumers be informed of the best places of production of Swiss or European cheeses. The PDO fully certifies the product development in its region of origin, both in the basic material and the manufacturing process. For cheese, for example, this starts with the collection of milk, its processing to refinement.
A great deal of Swiss cheeses have an PDO such as Gruyère, Emmental, Etivaz, Sbrinz, Vacherin Fribourgeois, Vacherin Mont d’Or or Tête de Moine and many others proudly wear their respective PDOs. More than 20 PDOs have been introduced and recognized in Switzerland. Over the last year, the food industry has sold more than 64,000 tons of certified products on the market, half of which for export, i.e. 900 million francs of turnover coming from our factories in Switzerland.
Independent certification checks performed on a regular basis make sure that Swiss products are well manufactured in accordance with strict specifications and issued from agriculture in our country. The manufacture or processing is carried out exclusively in Switzerland. As far as Gruyère is concerned, PDO exists since 2001, for Vacherin Fribourgeois since 2005 and more recently Swiss mountain products in 2014. Migros that has launched “local” product ranges, guarantees local purchasing, which provides another form of designation.
All these standards guarantee the origin of our terroirs. They are so particular that we protect them jealously. Likewise for the “Halal” certification launched today by “the Swiss Cheese Company”, it combines an Emmental PDO with this certification, sometimes different depending on the foreign markets.
Other companies and cooperatives have launched designations guaranteeing the Swiss Made quality. The PDO Gruyère 1655 owes its particular taste to the terroir but also to patience, several months of refinement in cellars under the control of master-refiners who take good care of this exceptional cheese. Today other products have won PDOs, such as La Poire à Botzi, the Valaison rye bread, the Damassine du jura, the Valaisan apricot alcohol and soon the Gruyère cuchaule. PDOs guarantee our local economy for many years.