Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese producers and exporter, has been granted planning permission to re-build its Bruton-based dairy, doubling the capacity. The redevelopment is part of the company’s five-year plan for growth that is underpinned by increasing volume and the strategic targeting of specific regions world-wide.
The company has concluded its market prioritisation research; the results of which have been used to develop the Wyke Farms’ five-year plan for growth, which includes increasing brand presence in export markets in preparation for post-Brexit trade and launching new export targeted products throughout 2019.
The company’s audited accounts for y/e March 2018 show that turnover has risen to a record breaking high of £85m; a significant 26% increase from the previous year with significant investment into world markets and a growth plan aimed to push the business to a £100m turnover this financial year. The Somerset-based company has seen strong and consistent sales growth in the UK and overseas despite the challenging retail landscape.
The new dairy expansion project, titled ‘Ivy’s Dairy’ after Wyke Farms’ matriarch Ivy Clothier, will create a 16,589 sq m state of the art production facility. The dairy will be built to Ivy Clothier’s founding principles of producing the best in class quality combined with an industry leading respect for the environment. The development will be both energy and water efficient and sympathetic to the surrounding environment, with soft landscaping and a natural grass roof. The investment will build a sustainable long-term future and build sufficient infrastructure for servicing increased sales of award winning cheddar in both the UK and export markets.
Richard Clothier, third generation family member and Managing Director, comments: “Our strategy of selling into a growing export market has been very successful; it generates revenue that allows us to mitigate against the risks that a volatile dairy sector and a disrupted UK retail sector may bring. The new Dairy is crucial to facilitate the growth and meet global demand.”
Wyke Farms has been producing its award-winning cheddar to their secret family recipe for over 150 years and has grown to become one of the largest family-owned cheese makers in Britain, selling over 15,000 tonnes annually to over 160 countries around the world.