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Cheese Marks The Spot

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A new local dairy produce has been created in an attempt to put North Wales ‘on the map’.

Cheeses, cream and yoghurts have been made by staff at Coleg Menai’s Food Technology Centre, Anglesey, to show just what can be done with locally produced milk.

Cadwyn Clwyd, a regeneration agency, have been working closely with the staff in order to try to create ‘a thriving and diverse dairy industry’.

Robert Price, Cadwyn Clwyd’s Food Project Officer, spoke of how he believes there is a great opportunity to develop further dairy produce.

He said, “This area is one of the UK’s top dairy areas with rich pastureland and high quality farms producing the very finest milk.”

“There’s no reason why it shouldn’t also produce dairy products that are household names and we hope to encourage just those sorts of enterprise”.

Cadwyn Clwyd have funded the project through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

Price added, “We want to develop new products and create a thriving and diverse dairy industry which creates jobs and puts us on the map in the way that Cheddar, Camembert and Parmesan do.

“We asked the Food Technology Centre to come up with a range of products which we could make here, which would be branded locally and for which there is a gap in the market.”

Earlier this year, Anglesey sea salt won protected European status, meaning it can be classed in the same league as Champagne and Parma Ham.

Senior Food Technologist, Anne Marie Flinn, spoke of how she and her colleagues surveyed the neighbouring area in order to avoid duplication.

“It is a rural area with a high level of farming and there’s the potential to add value to local milk by making a high quality product and this is something that could get off the ground quickly.”

“The cheese could initially be made here in Llangefni using our dairy development facilities which offer ideal support for new businesses.”

The cheese that the Coleg Menai staff have been working on is a hard cheese. They have also produced a Greek-style yoghurt and a clotted cream-style product.

Mrs Flinn added: “Through the project we can provide support for those interested in making one of these products.

“They would need access to a supply of milk but they wouldn’t necessarily need to be a dairy farmer and we already have strong interest from a number of local people.”

A special product development evening was held at Denbigh’s Brookhouse Mill restaurant on Thursday 20th March where the new produce was presented.

A meeting is being held in Denbigh to encourage business support to develop the idea further.

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Charlotte Parker

News Editor 2013/14

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