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Montenegro, Pljeval cheese – the cheese which quality and taste outshined mozzarella

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On the list of the best cheeses in the world, which was recently published by the world food atlas “Taste Atlas”, Pljeval cheese was in 27th place, overtaking, among others, the famous Italian mozzarella.

A member of the Association of Pljeval Cheese Producers, Vladimir Čolović, believes that Pljeval cheese deserves an even better ranking due to its quality and method of production.

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– The position should be better because Pljeval cheese is made in a traditional, home-made way, without any additives, only pure milk, which is its great advantage in an era of increasing needs for healthy food. Now, whether it will progress from 27 places to the top of the list depends on many factors, one of which is the promotion of Pljeval cheese through its branding. It also seems to me that he is not yet appreciated enough in Montenegro.  And if it was, the branding would have already been completed, the cheese would be better known and at an even higher price, which would significantly bring it closer to the world’s leading cheeses, where it deserves to be. We in the Association, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, started this process back in 2013, we agreed on certain things, but when we needed to go one step further, some new problem always appeared and we practically got nowhere – says Čolović.

The problem, he adds, Is that Pljeval cheese spoils some other types of cheese in an uncompetitive way:

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– Well, those cheeses are sold in Podgorica and other markets as Pljeval cheeses, and they are not even “p” from ours, the original one. That’s why branding and its territorial protection are important, because all producers of Pljeval cheese would get their own logo and specific number, and then it would be known exactly what is being sold and what the customer is buying – the interlocutor of RTCG points out.

Čolović notes that the current price of Pljeval cheese is around 4.5 euros, and that it must be significantly higher, and that buyers and resellers currently benefit more from sales than the producers themselves. Branding and obtaining a reliable certificate, he believes, would also be of great benefit in that case:
– I expect that in the coming years the quality of Pljeval cheese will be accompanied by an appropriate price and that not everyone will be able to have it on the table. There might be less of it on offer, but it would be known all over the world. In this way, the buyer buys all the quantities for a few euros per kilogram, takes them to Podgorica or the coast and sells them there for seven, eight or nine euros. And “pick up the cream”. Branding would raise the price, but then the manufacturer would have to respect the quality and would be able to charge for that quality fairly. Simply, he would stand with his name and surname behind his product, and then Pljeval cheese does not need better protection – concludes Čolović.

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