Somerset-based Cheddar producer Wyke Farms have announced a working partnership with Westland Cheese (Westland Kaasspecialiteiten B.V.) in The Netherlands. For Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese producer, this will increase distribution to Holland and Germany where their cheese was voted “tastiest” in the market.
The partnership was developed following a “market prioritisation study to identify key areas with the biggest potential”. Wyke Farms cite several reasons for selecting Westland Cheese as their chosen distributor including an effective marketing and selling function and their ability to reach the Dutch and German markets, proven over the past 80 years with the world-renowned Dutch Gouda ‘Old Amsterdam’ brand. The fact that Westland is a “strong family business and place value on corporate social responsibility” and also “have a sustainability programme that underpins all of their work” were also factors in the decision to work together.
In 2019, an independent consumer taste test was commissioned in three German cities, where Wyke Farms Cheddars were panelled against the competitive sets. The Wyke Cheddars were unanimously voted as the “best tasting” according to the producer. Listings have been secured by Westland for the brand with many more in progress.
“Quality produce from Great Britain has been very well received in European markets,” says Rich Clothier, third generation cheesemaker and managing director at Wyke Farms. He added, ”The time is right for us to increase our offering into these regions and have chosen the best partner to help us do this.”
“We are delighted to develop a strategic partnership with a family business that holds strong and similar values to our own,” says Henny Westland, third generation family member and managing director at Westland Cheese. She continues: “At an unprecedented time of change, these values, quality of products and way of doing business have a clear competitive advantage and point of difference to consumers in the market.”