British cheesemaker Wyke Farms has announced the completion of its new export ‘centre of excellence’, which includes increased cheese maturing and dispatch storing space.
Based in Wincanton, Somerset, the site now has the capacity to age an additional 2,500 tonnes of cheddar stocks to support the increase demand for Wyke Farm’s 18-month-old Ivy’s Vintage cheddar across the world.
The company has also increased its cheese dispatch storage to allow the consolidation of cheese container orders prior to export post Brexit. Wyke Farms has also implemented a high-speed cutting and packing line for increased volume and longer-life cheese packs for overseas export markets.
To emphasise the company’s heritage, the site also features a cheesemaking museum that includes retired cheesemaking equipment from the past 200 years.
The expansion – which aims to service Wyke Farms’ growing export markets across the world – was supported by a £1.3 million food processing grant under the government’s RDPE growth programme.
Paul Caldwell, RPA CEO, said: “The investment brings much needed additional export capability and job creation to Wyke Farm’s cheese processing facility. Just as importantly, it offers increased stability to the dairy farmers who supply the milk that goes into the cheese at a difficult time for the sector.”
In line with its 100% green sustainability plan and self-sufficient identity, the new facility includes solar, heat recovery and air sourced heat pumps.
According to Wyke Farms, the energy efficient facility also includes a new chilled dispatch store that allows central distribution for larger customers and consolidation of complex multi-product export orders, saving secondary storage and road miles in the UK and overseas.
Rich Clothier, managing director and third generation family member at Wyke Farms, said: “Built to the highest environmental standards this export hub will allow us to continue to export more of my grandmothers Ivy’s Vintage cheddar to over 160 countries in a post Brexit world, in the most environmentally responsible way helping to secure jobs and livelihoods of people in Somerset, the heart of Cheddar.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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