FESTIVE RUSH HELPS DAIRY TO RECORD SALES:
A FESTIVE rush has helped Wales’ oldest farmers’ co-operative celebrate its 80th anniversary in style – and is poised to achieve £50m in sales for the first time in its history.
As a result, South Caernarfon Creameries is on course for another recordbreaking year with a predicted 25% increase in sales.
Bosses say production of their awardwinning cheeses in 2018-19 promises to top 13,000 tons, compared to 11,500 last year.
With people going crackers for their flagship Dragon range, the production line at SCC’s cheese-making plant at Chwilog near Pwllheli is working flat-out seven days a week to keep supplies flowing.
The announcement could not have come at a better time as the company reaches the climax of its 80th anniversary celebration year, having first launched as a farmers co-operative in 1938.
Among the products popular for Christmas is the new Slate Cavern Aged Cheddar made with Penderyn Whisky, launched at this year’s Royal Welsh Show, to mark the anniversary.
“It’s great news for all our members and the perfect Christmas present to know that the business plans we laid out for the future are coming to fruition,” said SCC commercial director Nick Beadman.
The sales growth is testimony to a phased £13m investment in improvements SCC has made over four years including the expansion of its state-of the art cheese processing factory.
Nick said: “We are on target to top the £50m sales mark by our financial year end. It’s an achievement we’re all very proud of.”
The news reinforces the upward journey the company has been navigating during the last couple of years.
Sales for the year ending March 2018 also broke previous records, being worth £45m. That was an increase of 36 per cent on 2017, which came in at £33.1m.
Hopes are high that the trend will continue, helped by the firm’s growing potential to enter new retail markets and further develop the export side of the business.
Nick said: “There is a strong tradition in Wales and Britain of an increase in consumption of cheese products over the Christmas period so we would natu- rally expect our Dragon label in particular to benefit from that.”
The company produces a range of cheese, milk and butter products from its Chwilog base, near Pwllheli, on the Llŷn Peninsula.
These include a version of Red Leicester style cheese soon to be brought within the Dragon umbrella.
South Caernarfon Creameries. Linda Lewis Williams with a Christmas cheese board