Markus: “Back then it was a question of what we should do with the farm and which direction we wanted to take things in. At that time I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to become a farmer. Slowly but surely I realised I wanted to do my own thing. Our father always said to us: ‘If you do something, do it properly.’ In small villages like this people are always sceptical at the start. Anything new is seen as strange and threatening. But now there are lots of locals who like our soft cheese. You just have to be brave enough to try something new."
Thomas: "We don’t have any money left because we have invested so much in the business, but week by week we are getting more and more customers. People like our concept of sustainable and ecological farming. Sure, that makes us a bit more expensive than other producers, but people still come to us to buy our cheese. We want to maintain biodiversity on our fields, for example by keeping hold of older cows who might not produce as much milk as the younger ones but keep giving milk for longer. Thankfully that is the overall trend in Tirol at the moment."
Markus: "I personally like the production cycle: cutting the grass, making the hay, milking the cows and, finally, making the cheese. It’s a great feeling when, after it has matured for two or three weeks, you have a really good cheese. Everyone benefits: we as producers, but also the customers. A good camembert must be soft and creamy, with a fruity aroma. The white layer of mould should cover the whole of the cheese. Then I’m happy.”
Markus & Thomas Ehammer, Cheesemakers
The brothers Markus and Thomas Ehammer run the Rehaberhof dairy farm, where they produce outstanding camembert. They currently sell around 900 cheeses per week and hope to increase sales to 3000 in future. The duo, who are both still under 30 years of age, follow a sustainable concept based on fresh regional ingredients and high animal welfare standards. Their cheeses are packed in an environmentally friendly way with a minimalistic look designed to appeal to the younger generation of cheese connoisseurs.