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21.03.03
Objective One helps Cornish Brie to go from strength to strength

Cornish Country Larder's award-winning Cornish Brie will be flying the flag in London next week when it takes centre stage as one of the star attractions in the International Food Exhibition's 'Cheese Theatre'.

Produced by the Cornish Country Larder, based near Newquay, Cornish Brie has already developed a reputation for winning awards, including a gold medal at the British Cheese awards last September.

Since opening in 1997, the Cornish Country Larder has gone from strength to strength, thanks in part to Objective One investment two years ago towards a £2.3 million project to double the dairy's production facilities and introduce new machinery.

The £461,600 investment from the Objective One European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund with match funding from Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, enabled the dairy to double the size of its buildings and purchase new equipment. Since the investment, production capacity has increased four-fold, with the company now employing 22 staff, which is already exceeding the employment targets outlined in their original funding application.

As the UK's premier food and drink exhibition, this year's International Food Exhibition (IFE) is an important show-casing event for the Cornish company, with many distributors looking to place orders for the next 'must-have' product.

Amongst the IFE's largest ever presence of cheese and dairy exhibitors from the UK and overseas, the UK Guild of Cheesemakers has selected Cornish Brie to be one of its star attractions. This will form part of the exhibition called 'Cheese Theatre', which will be staged within the dairy section of the show. Within the Cheese Theatre visitors will be encouraged to take part in tutored tastings and learn more about cheese from the expert demonstrations and open seminars on the commercial issues facing retailers and caterers.

Producing a staggering 300 tonnes of Cornish Brie a year along with an additional 120 tonnes of other cheeses, Cornish Country Larder's products are now being sold in markets as far away as the USA. There is also the expectation of further orders from across the Atlantic when the company exhibits at the New York Fancy Food Show in June.

Speaking about the significance of being featured in the IFE's 'Cheese Theatre', Cornish Country Larder Managing Director John Gaylard said: "It's a real credit to the popularity of our product that our Cornish brie has been selected to take centre stage in the IFE's cheese theatre demonstration. We have been astounded by the demand for our products since we first started making them six years ago and the awards won by our cheeses along with our presence at trade shows like the IFE further fuels the demand.

"The extent of our success is directly attributable to the funding from Objective One and DEFRA, without which we would not have been able to expand to meet customer demand. Since our expansion the business has exceeded our expectations and we are currently considering further expansion in line with the interest in our products being shown by many large distributors and retailers."

Roger Metcalf, Objective One's Dairy Co-ordinator, helped Cornish Country Larder put together the application for Objective One funding and has been delighted to see the difference that the money has made.

Roger said: "The continued success of Cornish Country Larder following their expansion programme is a testament of what Objective One investment can do for businesses in Cornwall's agricultural sector. The Objective One Agricultural Development Team is dedicated to the on-going development and support of the agricultural, horticultural, food and land-based industries and we are always looking for projects like this to develop and assist with the process of applying for Objective One."

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Editor's notes:

The IFE 2003 takes place from 23-26 March at ExCeL in London's Docklands.

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)

EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million available to support the local economy between 2000 and 2006.

EAGGF aims to:

• Help preserve the link between diversified farming and the land.

• Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture as a key activity in rural areas.

• Ensure the diversification of the economy in rural areas.

• Help to keep communities thriving in rural areas.

• Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape and the rural heritage.

For further information contact:
John Gaylard
Cornish Country larder
01637 860331

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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