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Dairy co-op’s £8.5M boost to jobs and production

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By Rod Addy+

Last updated on 18-Jul-2014 at 11:12 GMT

South Caernarfon Creameries makes Dragon-branded cheese at its Chwilog site
South Caernarfon Creameries makes Dragon-branded cheese at its Chwilog site

South Caernarfon Creameries is investing £8.5M in a new cheese production facility at its site in Chwilog, north Wales.

The plant would safeguard 90 existing jobs and create 10 more, Wales’ oldest farmer-owned dairy co-operative said.

In addition, it would almost double capacity, from the current level of 9,500t to 17,000t.

Completed summer 2015

Work would begin on the new build this summer and is expected to be completed and operational by summer 2015, according to the co-operative.

The first phase of the development would cost £6M and increase production to 11,000t, it said.

Phase 2, costing £2.5M, would take production up to 17,000t and would be implemented as South Caernarfon’s milk field grew to support the additional capacity.

Latest technology

The new production unit would incorporate the latest technology, would be efficient and flexible and would support South Caernarfon Creameries’ growth plans for existing and new customers, it added.

Current cheese production would not be affected by the new build and the existing production unit would continue to be used until the new facility is fully operational.

“As part of our strategic development, the creamery initially announced plans for future investment at the site in autumn 2013,” said South Caernarfon Creameries md Alan Wyn-Jones.

“Since then, extensive due diligence has been carried out with the project gaining full board approval in June. The investment plans were communicated and discussed with our members in recent regional meetings and confirmed at our AGM on 16th July 2014.

‘Exciting period’

“This is a very exciting period in the next development phase of our business and we are extremely grateful to our customers and members for their continued support. We are also grateful to the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Welsh Assembly Government for their support for this project.”

The creamery has urged any farmer milk suppliers interested in supplying milk to it to contact it directly.

South Caernarfon Creameries produces more than 40 varieties of Welsh cheese, a range of territorial English cheeses and salted butter, including many products under its Dragon brand, plus cheese ingredients.

For information on the latest jobs in food and drink manufacturing, from the production line to the boardroom, visit Foodmanjobs .

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