The CHEESE PRODUCTION MOBILE UNIT (CPMU), also named Mobile Dairy School, is an ongoing project developed by Spanish artist and agro-ecologist Fernando García-Dory exploring aspects of food, culture, territory, identity and taste.
The project takes as it’s starting point John Ruskin’s Migratory Dairy School, a 19th century local initiative that provided local farmers with the additional skills necessary to diversify their production and increase their income.
The Mobile Dairy School has three stages:
1. Cheese-making workshops and tasting sessions
2. Building of the Portable CPMU and extension of co-production social system
3. Implementing and bringing the Mobile Dairy School to full use
The Mobile Dairy School was also influenced by the Krausist Movement in Spain, a movement that crystallized in 1876 with the Free Institution of Education (ILE). One of the most interesting projects of the ILE was the Mobile Museum; a migratory painting collection of copied masterpieces that travelled from village to village. Much like Ruskin did, the ILE worked to promote Dairy Schools in rural areas, particularly in Northern Spain. Their methods to improve farmer’s incomes included outlining the skills to transform milk into butter and cheese as well as providing advice, accessible technologies, and training and hygienic measures.
The project also draws from Fernando Garcia-Dory’s previous work in which he initiated a Shepherds' School in 2004 in rural Asturias, a project that continues today. He is also connected to the National Shepherds Federation, supports the World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Pastoralists since 2007 and is collaborating with the Spanish Artisan Cheesemakers Association.