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Celebrating Female Cheesemakers: Tradition, Innovation, and Recognition

On International Women's Day, we pause to reflect on the pivotal role of women in the age-old craft of cheesemaking, a tradition deeply rooted in history and culture. In Britain, where cheesemaking was historically considered "women’s work," the legacy of female artisans continues to shape the landscape of artisanal cheese production.

For centuries, farmhouse kitchens served as the epicentre of cheese production, with women at the helm, meticulously handmaking cheeses such as Cheshire and Lancashire. While men tended to the rigours of farming, women seamlessly integrated cheesemaking into their daily routines, managing household chores alongside the process of cheese production.


The post-World War II era saw a shift towards the industrialisation of cheese, leading to the decline of small-scale cheesemaking operations. Yet, in recent years, there has been a remarkable resurgence in traditional cheesemaking practices, thanks in large part to the dedication and passion of modern-day artisans.

At Paxton & Whitfield, we recognise and celebrate the invaluable contributions of female cheesemakers to the rich tapestry of British cheese. In honour of International Women's Day, we are proud to showcase a curated selection of artisanal cheeses crafted by talented women from across the UK and Europe.

From the rugged landscapes of Scotland to the lush pastures of Somerset, each cheese tells a story of tradition, innovation, and unwavering dedication. By championing female cheesemakers, we not only honour their legacy but also support their continued success in an industry that thrives on diversity and inclusion.

"I am immensely proud to be a part of an industry that not only honours the rich history of cheesemaking, where women played a central role but also continues to champion women today. From preserving traditional cheeses like Appleby's Cheshire and Mrs Kirkham's Lancashire to supporting modern women-owned cheesemaking businesses, our commitment to diversity and inclusivity is unwavering. As we look back on the invaluable contributions of women to the craft of cheesemaking, we also embrace the future, ensuring that female makers and mongers alike are celebrated and supported every step of the way." - Jazz Reeves, Quality Manager at Paxton & Whitfield.


In celebration of the incredible women in the cheesemaking industry, we have created a brand-new ‘Week of Cheese’ featuring cheeses made by women. A unique gift for Mother's Day and International Women’s Day, “Women & Whey - Celebrating A Week of Cheese” features seven incredible cheeses, perfectly packaged with cheese-tasting notes for a 7-day journey through artisan cheese. Order yours today.

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