Cheesemaker on hunger strike against bureaucracy

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tp4ihaljsFc?rel=0&w=480&h=360]

Josef Regli of Canreg Station Farm and Pasture Dairy near Cornwall, Ontario, has gone on a hunger strike to protest attempts by South Stormount township council to apply regulations that are near-impossible for a small producer.

Regli, originally from Switzerland, says he attempted a small expansion when demand for the farmstead cheese he produces started to grow. Regli admits his mistake was not seeking a permit, but once he tried to correct it with the municipality, administrators wanted to treat him like a major cheese producer instead of the tiny farmer he says he is. It meant costs and rules he simply wouldn’t be able to afford.

Read more and watch video: http://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/farmer-battles-bureaucracy-with-extreme-measures-1.106118

Regli and his family have been legally producing sheep’s milk cheese since 2008. Canreg’s cheese has found many fans, including Vanessa Simmons, cheese sommelier at Savvy Company. Click here to read her take on Pecorino Classico.

UPDATE

“Because of the great support and the direct intervention from so many people, the situation is for now somehow under control,” Josef Regli said an email to CheeseLover.ca on December 2. “The Township officials are in the progress of working out a feasible solution together with us.”

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1 comment

  1. Great to hear that a resolution is in the works however there is a desperate need for a reasoned approach to the artisanal food providers moving forward. If we want more selection than that that the factory food provide then we must recognize that the ability of the small, local producer to meet the regulations designed for conglomerates is just not feasible and besides, most of the problems in our food chain have come not from the small producers but from the factory producers.

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