This story was written by leading food and travel journalist, Angela Youngman.
Within a few months of being accepted by Lidl to supply all their cheese to its Welsh stores; South Caernarfon Creameries has been invited to be one of only six suppliers to a Lidl Food Festival to showcase the new Welsh cheese to Lidl’s top team. The range includes Welsh Mild Cheddar, Welsh Medium Cheddar, Welsh Mature Cheddar and Welsh Extra Mature Cheddar, all of which are supplied under Lidl’s Valley Spire brand. This is the first time that Lidl have stocked an exclusively Welsh cheese range in Wales. All of Lidl’s Welsh Valley Spire cheeses are made using Welsh milk produced by South Caernarfon Creameries farmers.
Participation in Lidl’s Food Festival is just the latest of the successes garnered by this award winning company. During 2016, it received almost 30 awards for its range of cheese and butter which were bestowed from numerous high profile events such as the British Cheese Awards, World Cheese Awards, International Cheese Awards and Global Cheese Awards. The Creamery swept the board with all of their cheese varieties taking top awards including Vintage Cheddar with Leek and traditional regional varieties like Caerphilly and Double Gloucester. South Caernarfon’s traditional salted Welsh butter also received several awards.
South Caernarfon’s Welsh Slate Cavern Aged Cheddar matured 500 feet underground at Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Festiniog gained several awards including the Best Dairy Product 20167 at the Food Management Today Industry Awards which recognize creativity, innovation and excellence in British food.
2016 ended on a high note when South Caernafon Creameries took the Made in Wales Food & Drink Award 2016 which recognizes the food or drink company in Wales that has made the biggest impact in areas such as innovation, use of Welsh products, added value, and commercial success. One judge said, “They’ve moved from being a commodity producer to an innovative producer, a huge undertaking.”
Alan Wyn-Jones, Managing Director at South Caernafon Creameries said
“Awards provide an independent assessment and point of reference for the quality standards of a range and focus on taste and quality rather than elaborate packaging. The fact that such a wide cross-section of our cheeses have been recognized provides further, independent, verification that our entire range is exceptionally top quality.”
He continued “Our focus is on continuous improvement on quality and service and these awards are further evidence that we are making significant progress as we strive to be the ‘Number One choice for Welsh cheese’. The Best Dairy Product and Made in Wales Food & Drink award go a long way to endorse our objective.”
South Caernafon Creameries is a farmer-owned dairy co-operative and is the oldest in Wales having been established in 1939. There are currently 130 member farmers located in North and north west Wales.