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Animals and their feeding

The production steps

Guaranteed and controlled quality

Savoie cheeses are the direct product from processing the milk from mountain goat and cattle livestock..

“All-terrain” dairy breeds

Cattle and goat dairy breeds are bred and fed according to very detailed specifications, unique to each cheese. Thus, minimum dietary proportions of fresh grass and fodder are specified. The purchase of fodder from outside of the Savoie area, and reliance on additional feed are limited and strictly regulated. In addition, although general regulations don't absolutely stipulate this, producers refrain from using any GMO feed, as part of their ongoing commitment towards implementing best farming practices.

  • Cows: Abondance, Tarine (native to Pays de Savoie) and Montbéliarde (Jura) are particularly well suited to mountainous terrain and are able to handle temperature variations. Their ability to climb steep slopes is not only explained by their genetic predisposition: the calves are taught to climb progressively steep slopes from a very young age. An estimate suggests there are 80,000 to 90,000 of them.
  • Goats: the undisputed king of the Savoie pastures is the Alpine. The headcount sits at 12,000.

Did you know?

Ruminants have four stomachs allowing them to digest plants, in particular grass, which is rich in cellulose. A cow needs around 13 to 18kg of fodder or 50 to 100kg fresh grass to feel full. Cows and goats also eat grains, oilseeds and proteins (rape, soya, etc.). 

Why do Savoie cows all differ from one another?

In Savoie, in order to make the best possible use of the available grass, the cattle must move around from one pasture to another, with these pastures sometimes lying on slopes, sometimes on distant lands, rising far up to Alpine pastures. They need to be able to feed in summer and in winter, primarily on grass or fodder, producing a rich milk suitable for processing into cheese.

Being mountain breeds, the three main breeds in Savoie are highly suitable given these requirements. Two of them are particularly well adapted to the specific area, as they originate in the Northern Alps (with the third coming from Jura, another renowned cheese production area in the mountains).

The birthplace of the Abondance breed is, of course, the Abondance Valley, and that of the Tarentaise or Tarine, the Tarentaise Valley.

To have fun at home

Coloring pages to download


Learn more at school
A free educational kit on Cheeses of Savoy PDO-PGI, exists : pedagogical, playful and attractive, it is at your disposal!
To order it, simply download, fill and return the order form.

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3 ateliers pédagogiques à la carte pour les cycles 2 (CP-CE1) et les cycles 3 (CE2, CM1, CM2).

Pour les classes de Savoie et Haute-Savoie, 3 ateliers peuvent être réalisés en classe :
  • La fabrication des Fromages de Savoie
  • La ronde des sens
  • Les Fromages de Savoie : des acteurs durables du territoire
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