Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese producer and producer of renewable energy, has filed accounts for financial year ending March 2020 showing a turnover of £107 million; its highest turnover to date.
Wyke Farms has benefited from substantial growth in export sales both to the EU and the rest of the world up almost 20%. The benefits of having a diverse customer base not just in food service verses retail, but a geographically diverse base has also contributed to the increased turnover.
The company has strategically built on their maturing cheddar stocks over recent years in order to service the global market for older, longer aged cheeses. In September 2020 the company opened its new cheese store with space for 1,762 pallets of cheese, amounting to approximately 2,000 tonnes of additional storage capacity, which is required to meet the demands of growing export sales in vintage flavour profiles. The new store is 2,500 times the size of Ivy Clothier’s original cheese store on the farm in Wyke Champflower.
The Wyke Farms 100% Green strategy continues to underpin all business decisions and during the reporting period, the company continued to invest in their renewable energy business. Green gas production capacity from farm and business waste in the region was increased, together with increased solar on roofs. In addition, Wyke Farms has reduced its scope 2 emissions by replacing face to face meetings with Microsoft Teams.
Rich Clothier, Managing Director, and third generation family member, at Wyke Farms says: “It’s been a revelation for us; we now communicate better than ever and without people driving thousands of miles per year, their risk of accident is less, and they can spend more time with family. Post COVID we will retain some of these good practices and not return to old ways.”
Wyke Farms’ cheese and butter is made with the milk from their cows grazing the lush pastures of the Mendip Hills in the centre of the Cheddar making region in Somerset. The company has prioritised automation and upskilling jobs over the past year and this has been achieved in most areas. This gave Wyke Farms an added advantage with being able to socially distance effectively and maintain high production levels.
Wyke Farms products are available in selected Lidl stores and in South West UK ASDA, CO-OP and Tesco stores. All products are available online at: www.wykefarms.com/shop.