O consumo de leite de vaca começou com a domesticação dos primeiros animais há cerca de 11.000 anos.
União de Cooperativas Agrícolas de Lacticínios de São Jorge, UCRL - UNIQUEIJO was formed in 1986. Its administrative and logistic heart was a small office in Rua Jardim da República, in the parish of Velas. It was made up of six traditional cheese making cooperatives. The maturity process is still performed in a cold room provided by the Beira Cooperative.
1. Cooperativa Agrícola de Lacticínios de Norte Pequeno,
2. Cooperativa Agrícola do Norte Grande (actualmente posto leite)
3. Cooperativa Agrícola de Leitaria de Santo António,
4. Cooperativa de Leitaria da Beira,
5. Cooperativa Agrícola de Santo Amaro CRL
6. Cooperativa Leitaria de Manadas SA.
The original members were later joined by Cooperativa Agrícola de Lacticínios de Rosais in 1991, Finisterra - Cooperativa de Lacticínios do Topo in 2000 and, finally, in 2007 it entered into a commercial agreement with Cooperativa dos Lourais.
Back in 1986 a critical step was taken in the production of our cheeses when the São Jorge Cheese Demarcated Region was created and the São Jorge brand was registered as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese. And in November 1991 Uniqueijo was granted the status of Accreditation Body and admitted to the São Jorge Cheese Brotherhood.
Its current facilities in Lugar da Beira, Canadinha Nova in the parish of Velas, provide for constant and extremely rigorous control of output thanks to the support of two modern laboratories.
Uniqueijo currently groups eight cooperatives and is devoted solely to the storing, curing and packing of the traditional and much appreciated São Jorge cheese. It recently launched two new products: grated São Jorge PDO cheese and 7-month cured São Jorge PDO cheese.
The production of top quality cheese, through compliance with the strictest food safety standards, is once again Uniqueijo’s prime goal. It combines the latest manufacturing technology and methods with the creation of a homemade style product so that the tradition of our cheeses, which goes back to the fifteenth century when the islands were first inhabited, can be enjoyed in all its splendour by our clients.