A dairy dozen for Dale Farm at prestigious cheese show
THE UK's largest farmer-owned dairy cooperative, Dale Farm has secured a remarkable 12 awards at the International Cheese Show.
Held in Nantwich, England last week, the show saw 250 expert judges sample over 5,000 entries from some of the world's leading cheesemakers and dairy producers.
Amongst Dale Farm's haul of accolades included three gold, three silver and six bronze awards. Products receiving Gold award status included Dromona Mature Cheddar, a household favourite throughout Northern Ireland for decades.
Stephen Cameron, group commercial director at Dale Farm said:
“We are always extremely proud to be recognised by the dairy industry for our product excellence. Awards such as those received at Nantwich reinforce the quality of the milk supplied to us by our dairy farmers and act as testament to the expertise of our cheesemakers. It is also proof to our customers and consumers that Dale Farm cheese is amongst the best in the world.”
Dale Farm markets its cheese ranges under the Dale Farm, Dromona and Fivemiletown brands in Northern Ireland and Great Britain; and Rowan Glen in Scotland. Dale Farm also supplies cheese to many major retailers for their own brand ranges. The company produces 45,000 tonnes of Cheddar a year from its plant in Cookstown, Co Tyrone, using milk supplied by its network of dairy farmer owners.
The good news comes just weeks after Dale Farm reported record financial results, with turnover jumping by 24 per cent to £481 million.
The largest UK farmer-owned dairy cooperative, owned by 1,300 dairy farmers and employing more than 1,000 people, enjoyed a third consecutive year of strong growth, with group operating profit rising from £9.8m to £12.1m and profit before tax increasing by 28 per cent from £7.9m to £10.1m.
The company also recently agreed a lucrative contract to supply cheese to retail giant Lidl. The deal, which represents the single biggest contract awarded by Lidl to a Northern Ireland agri-food firm, will see Dale Farm cheese stocked in 8,000 stores across 22 countries.