Milk Link pledges to invest in Cornish Country Larder

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk link Cheese

Milk Link pledges to invest in Cornish Country Larder
The new owner of specialist cheese maker Cornish Country Larder (CCL) has pledged to invest in the business to meet growing demand for British soft cheeses.

Milk Link, which snapped up CCL for an undisclosed sum this week, told that it would look to develop and expand the firm's production capability and product range.

CCL, which makes Bries and Camemberts plus the Gevrik (soft goat's cheese) and St Endellion (a Cornish Brie made with Cornish double cream) brands from its Trevarrian Creamery near Newquay, was growing fast, and approaching full capacity at peak times, said Milk Link corporate affairs director Will Sanderson.

"We will be focused on developing production capacity. The creamery was at capacity during the peak sales time for British soft cheese in the run-up to Christmas."

CCL, which turns over just over £9.1m and makes around 800t of soft cheese a year, already supplies major retailers including Waitrose, Morrisons, Sainsbury and Tesco plus a raft of independent outlets, said Sanderson. "It's complementary to our customer base, and something we can build upon."

CCL's former owners - John Gaylard and Neil Walker - will not play an ongoing role in the business. However, the former's son Chris Gaylard will stay on as creamery manager, reporting to Milk Link's operations director Mark Robertson.

Growing cheese empire

Milk Link, which handles more than 1.4bn litres of milk a year (12% of GB milk production) is a major producer of British cheese, supplying leading retailers, manufacturers and caterers from three creameries producing a range of products from Cheddar to Cheshire, Lancashire, Wensleydale and Blue Stilton.

Chief executive Neil Kennedy declined to disclose how much had been paid for the business, but said he was confident that the CCL could grow faster under Milk Link's ownership.

“The deal provides an opportunity for us to grow and develop an already successful business by leveraging our wider, national customer base and proven know how in sales and marketing, operations and logistics and new product and packaging development.”

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