If Willy Wonka of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ had visited the Swiss village of Gruyères, it would have been a tale of cheese factory instead! Such is the charm of this picturesque village in Switzerland. But beyond cobblestoned streets and middle age castle, the rural community of Gruyères is also setting up an example of vocal for local and sustainable living. Named as one of the best villages in the world by the prestigious UNWTO in 2021, the people of Gruyères are thriving on robust rural economy, which is largely based on cheese and cheese products.
Gruyères and cheese fondue
A cheese dairy, which has been specifically set up for demonstrating key process to the visitors, serves as the backbone of the village’s cheese story. Here, visitors can see the entire production of world-famous AOP Gruyère cheese. As part of the UNWTO project, the village works specifically on development of rural population in sustainable manner. Most of the restaurants in the village serve ‘moitié-moitié’, the cheese fondue, which is a local delicacy.
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At a time when most of the mountain resort towns in the world are facing the twin challenge of over-commercialisation and climate change, Gruyères is a role model for maintaining economic viability.
How farmers became entrepreneurs
In this Swiss village, where a 13th century fort known as the Gruyeres Castle is the most prominent landmark, almost every farmer is an entrepreneur. And part of the BTV strategy, most of them were encouraged to turn the local produce into the USP of the village. Now, many farmers have special tours, bread and breakfast facilities that attract visitors from all over the world. It is also a brilliant example of using the Intellectual Property to the fullest.
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