OCOP: Yak Cheese
Character and comparative advantage: Yak cheese is made from milk of yaks grazing freely on grasses in Mongolian steppe and mountainous regions. It has three times higher omega-3 fatty acids than in normal cow milk cheddar cheese. It was also richer in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has shown to have range of benefits against cancer, body fat gain, type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions. Yak milk and dairy products have higher content of fat than cow milk therefore making an excellent cheese and other side dairy products.
Producing areas: The product is from steppe, semi-mountainous area of Mongolia.
Demands: There is a growing local and international demand for such product. Since yak cheese produced with European standards and technology is unique to the local market, it is becoming attractive.
Consumption: The product could be consumed directly and cooked in the food just like cheddar or mozzarella cheese.
Beneficiaries: Developing and mainstreaming the yak cheese could have following benefits:
- Niche market with very unique features
- Yak is found in very few areas/regions in the World so unique to mountainous countries and Mongolia
- Yak has multiple benefits to increase the income and improve livelihoods of nomadic Mongolian herders. Not only cheese could be high valued in the market, but yak meat, wool and hides and skin are all used for value added products with high exporting potential.
- Social wise, yak has been considered as an animal consumed for highly nutritious food and also as pack animals for nomadic families.
- Main beneficiaries include the local and international consumers, yak herders and communities.
Geographical Indications systems
Year of establishment: 2005
No. of agri-products under GI: 46
Origin and characters: One of the requirements to apply for GI is the fulfilment of the document of description of the said product. In the document the applicant needs to explain about local natural and/or human factor that influence the GI products.
Sample products: Uvs Seabuckthorn (registered in EU as GI in January 2022): the Seabuckthorn from Uvs, refers to berries of which the Latin name is Hippophae rhamnoides. It is a cultivated species of a flowering plant in the family Elaeagnaceae. It can take different colours generally yellow or orange but can also sometimes be reddish, cream of maroon. It is characterized by its smell and size and has an elliptical or bulb shape. The elliptical berries have a length of 11 to 13 mm and a width of 8 to 10 mm. The round ones (bulbs) have a diameter of 6 to 9 mm. According to their form they weigh between 0,3 and 0,8 g (50-96 g/100 fruits).The fruit pulp is juicy, not acidic; it has also an aromatic smell and a sour taste. The seed is of white, brown, black, or shiny brown colour with a length of 4-7 mm, and width of 2-3 mm and the weight is around 13 gr for 1 000 seeds. Moreover, depending on the harvest time, either in autumn or in winter, the berry will either be juicy, and therefore dedicated to juice processing, or it will be full of fat and thus processed into oil, respectively. The geographical area for the production of ’Увс чацаргана/Uvs chatsargana’, consists of 10 administrative divisions (soums) of Uvs Province located in north-western Mongolia. These are the soums of Davst, Sagil, Turgen, Ulaangom, Tarialan, Naranbulag, Malchin, Zuungovi, Khyargas and Tes. They are located in the surroundings with a distance of approximately 50 km of the Uvs Lake basin.
Links: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv%3AOJ.C_.2021.398.01.0036.01.ENG&toc=OJ%3AC%3A2021%3A398%3ATOC - http://uvscluster.mn/index.php/news-events/item/50-2022-02-14-04-13-53
National website: https://www.ipom.gov.mn/mn.php?page=90