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South Caernarfon Creameries (SCC) recorded operating profits of £3.4 million on sales of £61.5 million in a record year for Wales’s largest farmer-owned dairy cooperative.
It comes as the cheesemaker begins work on a major expansion at its headquarters, which will increase capacity from the current 15,000 tons of cheese a year to 23,000 tons, creating 23 jobs and taking the total workforce to 160.
“In a year like no other we have delivered a resilient business performance while continuing to pay one of the best milk prices in Wales to our farmer-members,” said managing director Alan Wyn Jones.
SCC, which makes the award-winning Dragon Cheese, has 135 Welsh farmer-members who received an end-of-year dividend of £806,000 – nearly a quarter of the cooperative’s profits.
“The site processed record volumes of milk in the last 12 months and this trend will continue as we carry on growing while maintaining our high-quality standards,” Alan said. “We are well-used to operating in a volatile global marketplace, but no one could have foreseen the challenges of the last year in which the Covid crisis struck.” He added that the new Brexit trading arrangements have added costs to exporting, which is having a negative impact.
“While the year ahead will remain challenging as we continue to manage the business alongside the pandemic conditions and seeing cost inflation now coming through from raw materials and key overheads, the positives are that global economies will continue to recover, the fundamentals of dairy look positive,” he continued. “Our focus remains on the delivery of our objectives and the opportunities ahead, which we are now well-placed to take advantage of to deliver long-term business performance and prosperity for our stakeholders.”