French dairy farmers have been struggling to sell their cheeses as consumers switched to buying more staple foodstuffs during the coronavirus crisis and many specialist cheese counters were closed for up to eight weeks.

Michel Lacoste, president of the national council for milk product appellations (CNAOL), went so far as saying that consumers lost their taste for cheeses during lockdown.

As a result, sales of cheeses such as roquefort have fallen by up to 60 percent and tonnes of cheese have been given away to charities or destroyed. About 80 percent of French cheese cannot be stored for more than eight weeks.

Lacoste said: “The situation is catastrophic. Cheese isn’t just food, it’s part of France’s identity, its heritage, its history, its special and unique savoir faire.” The solution is simple, the producers say: “Just eat more cheese.”