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New federal rules put end to mail order from one small N.S. business

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WATCH: A change in federal regulations means one Nova Scotia business will no longer be able to sell out of province. Alicia Draus has the details – Jan 5, 2019

That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm has been in business for 30 years. With a store in Denmark, N.S., and a set up at the Halifax Seaport market, it’s become a well-known name in Nova Scotia and even across the country.

One of their best sellers is their own creation: Dragon’s Breath Blue Cheese.

“It’s quite a unique shape,” said owner Willem van den Hoek.

“You don’t find anything like this, it’s creamy, it’s spreadable, has a different tang, a unique tang to it.”

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van den Hoek says the unique cheese is a popular request from people across the country and there are even some smaller shops selling it in Ontario and Alberta.

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Their interprovincial sales are a small portion of their business though because they only have a provincial licence, and a federal licence is required for cross country sales.

“But there is an allowance of 20kg per order per customer,” said van den Hoek .

Now through the new Safe Food for Canadians Act that loophole is being closed, meaning all cheese from their business, including the popular Dragon’s Breath will be available only in Nova Scotia.

“I don’t understand why they’re closing that little window,” said van den Hoek . “I don’t understand how important it is to close that little window.”

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Homemade cheese making kits at Edmonton’s Butterdome Craft Sale – Nov 29, 2018

While mail order sales only made up five percent of their business, he says it will have a direct impact.

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“What we lose in sales is somebody’s job, basically,” he said.

van den Hoek says they could apply for a federal business licence which would allow them to sell outside Nova Scotia but he is not sure if it’s the right fit for his small business.

“There’s paperwork and testing. We really don’t like the complications if we can help it, so we don’t know yet what we’re going to do.”

In the meantime out of province customers will have to either come to Nova Scotia and stock up, or find a friend to mail them their favourite cheese.

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