Green, Paul (b.1957)

Paul Green is a partner in the Green cheese-making business based in West Pennard.  He runs two dairy farms with 150 cows on each, and his cousins run other farms in the area.  All the milk is used in cheese-making.


He talks about the processes involved in cheese-making, contrasting today’s modern methods with those started by his grandmother in 1908. By 2003 Green cheese-making had become a worldwide business dealing with supermarkets in England and America.  He talks about labour costs, profitability and expansion of the business in a very competitive environment.

Paul Green, 2003. Paul Green, 2003.
Sound File
Listen to Paul Green - 2.31MB Duration 5:02 min.

PG: Um, they’re quite easy to handle.  They’re quite, quite robust.  Years ago, the cheese would have been put on the shelves and turned every day.  Again, because of this mould penetration problem, we can’t afford to do that.  One of the advantages of putting them in a bag is that we can put them on a shelf and leave them and not, not have to turn them.  Once they come out of the bag we turn them then, but not any near as much as we used to years ago [coughs].


AH: So they’re all individaully stacked  on shelves?  They’re not resting against each other at all?


PG: That’s right, all lot individually on shelves.  Um, another advantage of putting them in a bag is we don’t get the cheese mite.  A big problem years ago was er, and still is, er cheese mites, and the only way we can er get rid of those cheese mite is to fumigate and of course, some of the gases we use nowadays to fumigate the cheese store are um, not environmentally friendly.  They’re greenhouse gases, so I think soon there’ll be restrictions, if not bans, put on us using those gases.


AH: How often would you fumigate a cheese store or do you fumigate a cheese store?


PG: Um about once a year, yeah, and it’s um, a long, quite a three or four-day process [coughs].


AH: So once the um, cheese is taken out of the plastic wrapping, can you tell me what happens then?


PG: Um, they stay on the shelves basically until um, they’re ready for sale.  They get turned every ten days or two weeks.  They need to be turned very gently so that, because they’re quite tender then, so as they don’t get damaged [coughs].  Some of those cheese we don’t take out of bags at all, the ones that go for smoking.  Um, they need, they don’t need a rind on those and they go for er, smoking as they are.


AH: Whereabouts do they go to be smoked?


PG: They go up to er, Derbyshire in another farm house cheese dairy, and then they get cut and er, they’re smoked for Sainsburys.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Ann Heeley in 2003. Photograph ©Ann Heeley Collection. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Heritage Centre.