Cheese News: What’s happening in the world of cheese in October 2023?

09 November 2023, 07:00 AM
  • Speciality Food rounds up the latest news from Britain's cheesemakers, cheesemongers and dairies.
Cheese News: What’s happening in the world of cheese in October 2023?

South Caernarfon Creameries appoints first female board member

Malan Hughes, who was born and raised on her family’s 500-acre dairy farm near Pwllheli, has become the first woman to join the board of Welsh co-operative South Caernarfon Creameries since it was formed in 1938.

Following in the footsteps of her grandfather and father, who have also been members of the board, Malan is moving just half a mile from the creamery and is looking forward to the new challenge.

“The creamery has been very important to us as a family and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to contributing towards the ongoing success and growth whilst ensuring the cooperative element of the creamery is recognised and strengthened.

“I’m eager to meet the producers and staff that I don’t know yet and I hope that all members are happy to have me represent them.”

Malan Hughes replaces Gareth Jenkins who retires from the Board following 28 years of service.

SCC managing director, Alan Wyn Jones, says, “I would like to welcome Malan to the Board, particularly given she’s the first woman to be in this position. She will be a great asset bringing with her knowledge and expertise which will be important to SCC’s work.

“I would also like to thank Gareth Jenkins for his long serving commitment and valuable contributions whilst on the Board and wish him a healthy and happy retirement.”

Putting Scottish cheese on the map

The Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland has launched a Scottish Cheese Map to promote 50 artisanal cheeses to consumers and suppliers across the UK.

This new tool can be used as a visual reminder for buyers, as well as a training resource for marketing teams within the industry to support sales and promotion.

Bringing together a network of 25 producers committed to growing the scale and quality of Scottish cheese production, The Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland encourages exchange of knowledge, experience and communication amongst the sector.

UK sales development manager, Morgane Lambert, says, “Scotland has an amazing selection of artisanal cheesemakers that are so passionate about showcasing the diverse and exciting produce available locally, and for national distribution. I am so proud to see this collaborative project already generating real buying leads, and getting the industry excited about Scotland’s cheeseboard.”

The project has been supported by Scotland Food & Drink and the Scottish Dairy Growth Board. Helen Wallace, UK market development manager at Scotland Food & Drink, says, “Collaborative projects like this one go a long way in ensuring that Scottish produce remains front of mind for buyers across the industry. We have been delighted to support The Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland and we have already seen a fantastic response from retailers and distributors who are making it easier for customers to choose Scottish produce.”

Access the map on The Fine Cheesemakers of Scotland website.

Artisan goats’ cheese approved for sale

A couple who realised their dream of moving to the countryside in 2019, say they are delighted to have finally been given conditional approval to sell their goats’ cheese to the public and retail.

Suzie and Jonty Birrell-Gray moved to Rosedale Abbey in the North Yorkshire Moors just before the Covid pandemic, and their journey to make cheese has been an unusual one. “I asked Suzie if she fancied some goats for Christmas in 2015,” laughs former accountant Jonty, who managed to source some within 48 hours, picking them up a month later. “Every time we went away for a little break, it was to see more goats!”

When Suzie was made redundant from her job as a chartered surveyor in 2018, the couple decided to take the plunge, moving to the north of the country, to live alongside their herd of Golden Guernsey, and Golden Guernsey cross goats, chosen for their inquisitive and friendly temperament, and higher, fattier yields of milk.

The couple’s first cheese, Rosedale, is named for the local village. “It’s a camembert-style cheese and it’s not goaty in flavour,” says Jonty. “It’s very very creamy. Because it’s made with raw goats’ milk it has all the lovely bacteria that gives it a special flavour, and everybody seems to love it.”

The other is Bell End Blue, named for an area of Rosedale. Similarly to Rosedale, it is Camembert in style, with blue veining. “It’s a mild blue,” Jonty explains. “The blue notes enhance the creaminess of the milk. It’s not like a Roquefort – more like a Cambozola.”

Both Rosedale Goats’ Cheese products are finding their way into Yorkshire delis and farm shops, and are available by mail order from Abbey Farm Cottage, Rosedale.

Limited edition cheese to be released this month

The Book & Bucket Cheese Company in Cranborne, Dorset, has launched a brand-new, limited-edition cheese.

Cranborne Dark Sky is a cow’s milk, brie-style cheese, with a layer of dark truffle running through its centre. The layer is added to the curds while the cheese is still being made (rather than at the end), allowing the distinctive aroma of truffle to permeate through the whole product. The team created the cheese following interest from local chefs and customers, and its name recognises the Area of Outstanding Beauty where the dairy is based, which was recently named an International Dark Sky Reserve.

Founder, Peter Morgan, says, “Cranborne Dark Sky has been on my to-do list for a few years now, and I have trialled a number of different ideas. In my head, I wanted something that hit the spot both visually and flavour wise. Myself and the team are so happy and proud. This will be a cheese that will become a must on every cheeseboard.”

Cranborne Dark Sky is available for wholesale orders now.


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