The Messotopos cooperative on the island of Lesbos, Greece, is a cooperative of sheep farmers who formed with the idea of creating their own cheeses (including Feta) to avoid the low milk prices demanded by other cheese makers on the island.
The cooperative has 150 breeders, and has elected 7 members to run the business, including Vloutis who looks after exports and is the contact for our importer Bionaturels. He has a herd himself and brought us to meet Babis, another breeder in the cooperative.
Feta cheese is produced on approximately 200 days of the year. The production process lasts 1 day for the elaboration of the cheese followed by about 2 months of maturation. Each day, the farmers bring their milk to the cooperative to group the day's production, and a truck brings it all to the cheese factory (between 8 and 25 tons per day in season). It takes about 4 kg of sheep's milk to make 1 kg of feta cheese. The cooperative makes about 80 tons of Feta and uses the rest for other products (other cheeses and yoghurts). Feta from the island of Lesbos has a Designation of Origin.
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