The South Caucasian Cheese Exhibition was organised 14-15 May, 2008 in Gyumri, Armenia. The Exhibition was part of CBDN’s work on promoting sectoral economic cooperation in the South Caucasus. The event also marked the launch of a new Turkish-Armenian-Georgian joint cheese brand – the “Caucasian Cheese”. The brand was created through joint efforts by cheesemakers in the three countries. Turkey and Armenia are countries with no diplomatic ties and a closed border. Consequently trade between the two has flown either north through Georgia, or south through Iran. The joint cheese production builds on common business interests and aspirations, and symbolizes and promotes cooperation between the two countries, and across the whole South Caucasus region.
Hence, apart from its commercial value, the “Caucasian Cheese”, or Peace-Cheese as dubbed by many, symbolizes strong commonalities across the region as well demonstrates the potential and benefits that cooperation could bring to the region. The event itself also marked the first time that Caucasian cheese production was being celebrated in regional format. The South Caucasian Cheese Exhibition provided an unparalleled opportunity for Armenian, Azerbaijani, Georgian, and Turkish as well as Nagorno Karabakhi, Abkhaz and South Ossetian producers and experts to connect and cooperate. Additionally, CBDN organized consecutive “Caucasian Cheese” sales promotions in Gyumri, Yerevan, Tbilisi, Javakheti and Kars and received a large amount of media coverage in the local as well as international press, including an article in the Economist.