Wyke Farms to double capacity of Bruton factory

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Clothier attended Food Manufacture's Business Leader's Forum on 22 January
Clothier attended Food Manufacture's Business Leader's Forum on 22 January
Wyke Farms is doubling capacity at its Bruton plant in Somerset, having secured planning permission for the move as part of a five-year plan to maintain the business' strong growth.

The company, which claims to be the UK’s largest independent cheese producer and exporter, said the strategy was underpinned by increasing volume and the strategic targeting of specific regions worldwide.

The plan includes increasing brand presence in export markets in preparation for post-Brexit trade and launching new export-targeted products throughout 2019.

The expansion project, dubbed ‘Ivy’s Dairy’ after Wyke Farms’ matriarch Ivy Clothier, grandmother to current managing director and third-generation family member Richard Clothier, is designed to create a 16,589m² factory. The development is intended to be energy- and water-efficient and sympathetic to the surrounding environment, with soft landscaping and a natural grass roof.

'Growing export market'

“Our strategy of selling into a growing export market has been very successful,"​ said Clothier, who addressed the issue of food and packaging waste at Food Manufacture's​ Business Leaders' Forum - sponsored and hosted by law firm DWF - on 22 January. "It generates revenue that allows us to mitigate against the risks that a volatile dairy sector and a disrupted UK retail sector may bring. The new dairy is crucial to facilitate the growth and meet global demand.”

Wyke Farms’ audited accounts for the year to 31 March 2018, which were published by Companies House in December last year, showed its latest full-year sales reached £85m, up 26% year-on-year. This was off the back of significant investment in world markets and an aim to push the business to a £100m turnover in the current financial year.

The company has been producing its cheddar according to a secret family recipe for more than 150 years. It has grown into one of the largest family-owned cheese makers in Britain, selling more than 15,000t annually to more than 160 countries around the world.

Look out for an exclusive video interview with Clothier at Business Leaders' Forum 2019 on the topic of waste later this week on this site.

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