Investment leads to quadrupled production at Cornish farm
Cornish dairy farm has secured a major contract supplying
natural yoghurt to the Asian food market in London after support
from Business Link Devon and Cornwall helped it quadruple
Trewithen Cornish Farm Dairy, based at Lostwithiel has received
investment to adapt existing dairy buildings and invest in
new equipment, enabling it to increase the scale of production
to 1,200 kilos of yoghurt per week.
Both from farming backgrounds, Bill Clarke and his wife
Rachel have been processing milk at the farm since 1993 and
Trewithen is well known in the area for its milk and clotted
cream production. The couple have also been making natural
yoghurt and supplying various outlets in London for some years
but the new contract demanded a huge increase in scale. Bill
said: "The grant funding went towards essential
equipment for processing the yoghurt – batch pasteurisers,
fermentation vessels and pumping, cooling and packing equipment.
Business Link also helped to finance some specialist consultants
and we wouldn't have been where we are now without that
help. In particular it was important to get the right advice
about handling the product and managing the new equipment.
Automation is great, but it can lead to a number of pitfalls
– there are the issues of operation, hygiene and maintenance
to be considered and of course, critically, in this process
- temperature. It's always a steep learning curve in
farming and processing, but we've learnt a terrific
amount and are looking to develop further."
The farm uses fresh locally sourced milk in the production
of its clotted cream, a by-product of which is skimmed milk.
This creates the yoghurt which is produced specifically to
meet the Asian food market's needs. The contract has
also benefited other local farmers, as when Bill's own
dairy herd cannot meet demand, Trewithen pays premium prices
for milk sourced from local producers.
Graham Woolcock, manager of Business Link Devon and Cornwall's
Food and Drink Programme said: "Trewithen is really
looking ahead. From the milk production, they have created
two by-products of added value. And in addition to securing
the recent contract, Bill and Rachel are also looking into
new markets for their yoghurt throughout the country and planning
to develop new organic products. As the commodity value of
raw milk falls, many producers are finding the investment
in value added products crucial to their business' success.
Through investment and some specialist help and advice, Trewithen
Cornish Farm Dairy now has a range of quality products which
they can use to further develop the business in the future."
For further information please contact Maxine McAdams of
the Marketing-PR Company on 01566 771860 or email:
The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly has invested in the Business Link Devon and
Cornwall, Cornwall Food and Drink Programme through the European
Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).
Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and
land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria
Ford, at Government Office South West - 01752 635015 - before
commencing development as there are now only limited funds
available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural
sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
Business Link provides a free information and enquiry service
via an information gateway on the web www.bldc.co.uk
and via the telephone on 0845 600 9966 to all businesses and
those considering starting a business. Additionally It provides
impartial business advice and support through a network of
partner organisations, which it co-ordinates, and a register
of independent business practitioners. Business Link for Devon
and Cornwall delivers the national Business Link service to
the region under contract from the South West RDA.
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439