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The Embassy sponsors Science Fellow to review Uruguay’s cheese industry

U.S. cheese expert tours production plants in the interior, releases report

April 20, 2004

The U.S. Embassy, Montevideo, sponsored a visit by a U.S. expert in the cheese industry to support Uruguay’s efforts to export cheese to North America.

As part of the Embassy Science Fellow Program, William J. Broske, president of World Wide Ventures and Dairy Consulting Co., spent four weeks in Uruguay, meeting with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture and visiting cheese manufacturing plants in the interior.

Broske spent the first week at the Ministry, reviewing production requirements. Later he traveled to the departments of San Jose and Colonia, sampling cheeses and learning about the production processes in Uruguay. He also was able to sample dulce de leche, a caramel-like substance made from milk.

As a consultant, Broske has traveled to Armenia, Russia and Guatemala and has been a judge in international cheese competitions.

Broske sent a report on his findings in Uruguay, with suggestions on how Uruguayan cheese producers can meet U.S. standards for importing cheese.

According to the report Broske visited 10 hand cheese maker facilities, one dairy school, two dairy laboratories four very large plants, two large cheese curing and storage warehouses and four private family owned dairy plants, making a total of twenty-two clients.

“The country of Uruguay is blessed with a great surplus of milk products,” he wrote. “Current anticipated volume of milk produced in 2004 is expected to be over 1,060 million liters.”

Broske also wrote: “About half the cheese consumed in Uruguay is produced by the 1,300 hand made producers. They produce approximately 9,000,000 kilos of cheese per year. The hand made cheese industry in Uruguay is unique. This industry is of great economic importance THAT must be recognized and supported.

“My findings and recommendations…include a recommendation for establishing a Cheese Grading Program and standards to facilitate the marketing of cheese for domestic and international sales and the creation of an Extension Service for the purpose of providing the latest technical and practical information to the Uruguayan Cheese Industry.”

U.S. cheese expert William Broske (right) works with cheese makers in Uruguay's interior. Broske (left) show U.S. Embassy intern Jason Manwaring how to make string cheese.
Provolone cheese in a production plant. Broske tests a wheel of parmesan.

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