Caernarfon Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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