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Our history - Emmentaler AOP Switzerland

Our history

Once upon a time in Emmental

From then to now

Emmentaler is almost as old as the Swiss Confederation, which was founded in 1291. The only thing that has remained unchanged in the eventful history of Emmentaler AOP is its distinctive original taste. Journey through the defining moments of this regional Swiss cheese as it evolves into a globally recognised brand.


16th century

Emmentaler cheese-makers start selling their natural produce beyond the region’s borders.


One of the first written accounts of Emmentaler cheese: ‘The councillor, Hans Rust, from Burgdorf gave the Basel doctor, Felix Platter, a “beautiful Emmentaler cheese” as a wedding present.’


Johann Emanuel Effinger builds the first valley cheese dairy on his estate in Kiesen, in the canton of Bern.

19th century

Many more valley cheese dairies are built in the Bernese region, where Emmentaler production is increasing. Emmental cloth and linen merchants begin selling cheese on a large scale.


Milk producers, cheese merchants and federal authorities form the «Swiss Cheese Union» in Bern. It regulates the production and sale of Emmentaler, Gruyère and Sbrinz cheese.

The «Swiss Cheese Union» is dissolved. It is subsequently restructured by type into different organisations.

Consortium Emmentaler Switzerland is founded. The trade organisation represents the interests of milk producers, cheese manufacturers and trading companies.


The first «regulations» come into force. They define the manufacturing conditions of Emmentaler AOP.


Recognition of the AOP protected designation of origin. The brand is now called Emmentaler AOP.


Registered by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) Switzerland’s first ‘geographical brand’.


Launch of Emmentaler AOP URTYP®. This new speciality cheese expands the range of flavours.

Cheese stories

Interesting facts and news

The cheese dairy number

Authenticity guaranteed

Around 1,400 grading inspections every year

Frequent checks

Cheesemaking in a nutshell

How milk becomes cheese


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