Event Title

The Story of Mongolian Cheesemakers and Globalization

Presenter Information

Pearse Anderson, Oberlin College

Location

Virtual presentation

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-27-2020 8:00 AM

End Date

5-2-2020 5:00 PM

Abstract

Despite being a sparsely-populated country with less than 2% of its land arable, Mongolia has developed a rich and complex food culture, notably for its meat and dairy products, which could soon be at an historic high thanks to the tens of millions of animals on Mongolian pastureland. Many Mongolians and non-Mongolians view the countryside as a sea of milk that is currently being underutilized for economic exploitation. Various projects, whether funded and organized by international NGOs, the Mongolian government, or private companies, have tried to use Mongolian’s dairy resources to fill Mongolian demand, with more recent private ventures also pursuing exporting Mongolian dairy products to other countries. European-style cheese is a new but popularizing food item mostly produced by three artisanal Mongolian cheese companies. This paper analyzes the history, present, and planned futures of the artisanal Mongolian cheese company business models to ask how globalization is altering the Mongolian food sector, and the challenges Mongolian cheesemakers face trying to join the global market using their vast dairy resources and network. The Mongolian cheese industry has been partially globalized at every step of the cheese production and consumption process, with global standards covering everything from starter cultures to demand for luxury wines and cheeses. A globalized cheese industry is shown to be very helpful to cheesemakers from an economic and social standpoint, but has underlying risks of erasing the complex tradition of Mongolian dairy products, both culturally and nutritionally.

Keywords:

Cheese, Mongolia, Globalization, Food studies, Marketing, Animal culture, Nutrition, Journalism, International development, Dairy products

Notes

Click here to view this presentation at the Office of Undergraduate Research website from April 27-May 2, 2020.

Major

Environmental Studies; Creative Writing

Project Mentor(s)

Jan Cooper, Rhetoric and Composition
Sugar Nergui, SIT Mongolia: Nomadism, Geopolitics and the Environment

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Apr 27th, 8:00 AM May 2nd, 5:00 PM

The Story of Mongolian Cheesemakers and Globalization

Virtual presentation

Despite being a sparsely-populated country with less than 2% of its land arable, Mongolia has developed a rich and complex food culture, notably for its meat and dairy products, which could soon be at an historic high thanks to the tens of millions of animals on Mongolian pastureland. Many Mongolians and non-Mongolians view the countryside as a sea of milk that is currently being underutilized for economic exploitation. Various projects, whether funded and organized by international NGOs, the Mongolian government, or private companies, have tried to use Mongolian’s dairy resources to fill Mongolian demand, with more recent private ventures also pursuing exporting Mongolian dairy products to other countries. European-style cheese is a new but popularizing food item mostly produced by three artisanal Mongolian cheese companies. This paper analyzes the history, present, and planned futures of the artisanal Mongolian cheese company business models to ask how globalization is altering the Mongolian food sector, and the challenges Mongolian cheesemakers face trying to join the global market using their vast dairy resources and network. The Mongolian cheese industry has been partially globalized at every step of the cheese production and consumption process, with global standards covering everything from starter cultures to demand for luxury wines and cheeses. A globalized cheese industry is shown to be very helpful to cheesemakers from an economic and social standpoint, but has underlying risks of erasing the complex tradition of Mongolian dairy products, both culturally and nutritionally.