Could it brie? Has China cut the cheese loose? Are hard cheeses through with their hard time? In short, yes.
Trade obstacles for import of European cheese to China lifted!
Following consumers' complaints over the summer, several China Inspection & Quarantine offices (CIQs, the local branches of AQSIQ), including Shanghai and Beijing, blocked in early September the entry on the Chinese territory of several types of mould cheeses, particularly Roquefort, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola and Stilton.
Last week a series of bilateral meetings were organised between experts from Headquarters (DGs SANTE and TRADE) and EU Delegation on one side, and relevant administrations (AQSIQ, National Health and Family Planning Commission- NHFPC) on the other side. NHFPC reported that an explanatory note had been sent to AQSIQ clarifying that the bacterial cultures used for the production of cheese were not harmful to the consumers' health. Following this clarification, AQSIQ instructed CIQs to lift all restrictions, allowing trade to resume immediately.
The official statement goes on to mention that the EU Delegation and the French Embassy will be working alongside Chinese authorities to update health and safety regulations regarding cheese.
In summary, cheese sales of all types will continue as normal. With this news, once blue cheese-centric businesses can breathe heavy sighs of slighty sour smelling relief.