Production was transferred from Devon to Rodda’s in Scorrier, near Redruth in Cornwall on April 4 as Wiseman moved out of its dairy in Okehampton, Devon.
A spokesman for Wiseman explained that the company could not produce clotted cream at its new dairy in Bridgewater, where Okehampton’s milk production was being moved. Consequently, it had abandoned clotted cream production and sold the Definitely Devon clotted cream operation to cream specialist Rodda’s.
Waste not want not
Wiseman’s spokesman said: “We had around two months supply of packaging for Definitely Devon clotted cream which we did not want to send to landfill. We contacted Trading Standards on the matter and were advised that Rodda’s could use this packaging if it included a “made in Scorrier” sticker on it.”
The Definitely Devon brand would be discontinued when packaging stocks ran out, he added. The arrangement would give customers in the South West, including Lidl and One Stop, a handover period as they decided whether to take Rodda’s products instead of Wiseman’s.
However, the fact that the Definitely Devon clotted cream is now being made more than 60 miles from the border between Cornwall and Devon has left Devon farmers irate.
Feathers ruffled in Devon
Devon farm manager Paul Winterton of Langage Farm, Devon told a local news service thisisdevon.co.uk: “Our Devonshire clotted cream is made in Devon and it is something we are fiercely proud of. To be honest if they needed somewhere else to process their cream they could have come to us. I would gladly discuss with them using our facilities to rectify this situation."
Wiseman bought the Definitely Devon business – which processes, packages and distributes milk and clotted cream – for £800,000 in 2006. It then amalgamated the operation with its site in Okehampton.
Fifty staff at Okehampton have been made redundant after production ended on April 21.
Wiseman is transferring most of the operations to its large plant in Bridgwater, Somerset, with 19 out of the 69 strong workforce relocating. All were offered relocation, a spokesman said.