Welcome to the Mountain Cheese Olympics 2009.
Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard
Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs
Cheese symbolises Switzerland – and the Swiss dairy farming industry! I am proud of the fact that we are hosting the Mountain Cheese Olympics once again in 2009. The location – Saignelégier-Tramelan-Bellelay – is a good choice. Bellelay is the home of the Tête de Moine, one of Switzerland’s cheese specialities, and the whole region is known and famous for its specialities beyond the Swiss border.
The various types of cheese from the Swiss mountains are widely appreciated because of their special taste. They are manufactured in unique surroundings. The special animal fodder and environmental influences but also the traditional manufacturing processes handed down from one generation to the next and the skill of the mountain farmers and cheese-makers result in excellent products.
These Cheese Olympics are important for us. This competition is an opportunity for Switzerland to demonstrate its broad range of products and to familiarise a large number of people with what is available here. At the same time, thanks to our high-quality and innovative products we can face tough competition at an international level.
The Mountain Cheese Olympics play an important role in promoting sustainable development in mountain areas both within Switzerland and abroad, in improving our market presence and in reinforcing our self-confidence. I am very much looking forward to seeing an international cheese competition in the Olympic spirit and would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the 2009 Mountain Cheese Olympics in Switzerland!