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Cywain Competition Winner Hopes to Bring Caerphilly Cheese ‘Home’

Enillydd Cystadleuaeth Cywain yn Gobeithio Dod  Chaws Caerffili 'Gartref'



A young farmer’s plans to revive Caerphilly cheese-making in its traditional location have been boosted by winning a package of tailored business support from Menter a Busnes.

Huw Rowlands of Cwmni Caws Caerfilli (Caerphilly Cheese Company) wowed the judges with his innovative idea and business acumen. He will receive £1,000 from Menter a Busnes and a package of support from Cywain to develop the cheese-making business.

(left to right) Sara Jenkins from Llaeth Teulu Jenkins Milk; Huw Rowlands of Cwmni Caws Caerffili; Welsh TV Personality and founder of Brybeque Sauce, Huw Bryant; and Nia Griffith from Menter a Busnes.

Huw said,

“I’m over the moon, and I am hugely thankful to Menter a Busnes for the scholarship opportunity, and I look forward to developing the business further with support from Cywain.”

With his business partner, Deian Thomas, Huw plans to re-ignite a local cheese-making tradition and provide dairy farmers with an opportunity to add value to their milk. A member of Gelligaer YFC, 25 year-old Huw has a food sector background and comes from a farming family with experience in cheese-making.

A hard, crumbly, white cheese, Caerphilly was originally developed for miners in the area as it matured quicker than cheddar. Among Cwmni Caws Caerfilli’s aims will be to promote the cheese’s heritage and the Welsh language.

Currently, there are no other businesses making the world-famous cheese within the Caerphilly County Borough area.

Huw said,

“Bringing Caerphilly Cheese production back to the area is essential to the history of the product and also the tourism in the area. We see thousands of visitors a year coming to Caerphilly but there isn’t a business located within the county creating something that the locality is known for. It’s been a lot of work and late nights to get to this point, but we are proud to say Caerphilly cheese is coming home.”

Menter a Busnes Director, Manon Llwyd Rowlands said,

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Wales YFC once again on this valuable competition. The competition has evolved naturally over the last couple of years and it is great to see it form a scholarship that will allow a worthy entrant who has a true passion, drive and viable idea to pursue a career within the Food and Drink Industry.

“I truly look forward to hearing about Cwmi Caws Caerfilli’s development whilst receiving valuable mentoring and business support through the Cywain project whilst they formalise and set up the business.”

The first-rounds of judging took place at YFC County Federation level, with the finalists put through their business paces by a judging panel at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair.

The judging panel included Huw Bryant – Welsh TV Personality and founder of Brybeque Sauce – and Sara Jenkins from Llaeth Teulu Jenkins Milk, who said they were very impressed with Huw’s “dedication and passion” for his cheese.

The competition was open to YFC club members between the ages of 16 and 28, and the entrants were tasked with creating a business plan for a new – or existing – start-up business within the food and drink industry. Members could compete as individuals or, if they intend working in a partnership, as a group.

The plans had to include a product description, its differentiators, marketing strategies and proposals for future growth. The entrants were also required to specify how, if successful, they would allocate the £1,000 prize money in order to develop their concept, product or business as a viable future enterprise.

Hefin Evans, Wales YFC Chair,

“It’s a great pleasure that Wales YFC and Menter a Busnes are working together again to help members in their or start up or development in their small business.  The mentorship that Cywain provide will deliver a great asset to the members with their businesses going forward in the future.”

Designed and developed by Menter a Busnes, the Cywain project works with food and drink producers across Wales, helping them grow and build their businesses with support in a range of areas, including marketing, brand development and finance and facilitated by a network of development managers throughout Wales.

Cwmni Caws Caerfilli can now realise their business plan and develop their business knowledge through support from Cywain including time with specialist mentors, gaining access to webinars, workshops and Study Tours – the first of which being with Cywain at the 2023 Spring Fair.