Wyke Farms secures £30m export facility

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Wyke Farms has secured a £30m general export facility from Barclays
Wyke Farms has secured a £30m general export facility from Barclays

Related tags Export Dairy

Somerset-based cheese maker Wyke Farms has secured a £30m ‘General Export Facility’ to support its continued international expansion.

Reportedly the UK’s largest independent cheese producer, Wyke Farms revisited its existing financing facility after rising inflation hugely impacted the cost of milk and pushed up the manufacturer’s production costs exponentially.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) stepped in, guaranteeing a £30m General Export Facility with Barclays, allowing the business to continue its upwards trajectory and proceed with its global expansion plans.

Growth in the face of inflation

Richard Clothier, managing director at Wyke Farms, said: “We’re grateful for UKEF’s support and Barclays which enabled us to fulfil our growing export sales despite the rising cost of production.

“By developing these new regions, we can expand sales of our more premium cheeses which helps to improve the milk price paid to Southwest farmers and therefore benefits the whole region. This UKEF support has enables us to grow our business quicker by allowing us to continue to push further into markets all over the world.”

Established 160 years ago, Wyke Farms produces more than 18,000 tonnes of Cheddar cheese each year – 65% of which is sold domestically – including premium own-label ranges in the UK for leading supermarket chains, such as Lidl, Asda and Co-op.

Uptick in exports

The remaining 35% share of around 6,000 tonnes is exported abroad. The business has seen a sizeable uptick in exports in recent years and this is set to continue to grow over the next 12 months.

Commenting on the cheese maker’s export success, trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “I am delighted to see our first-class food producers take full advantage of opportunities outside the EU that trade opens up.

 “This funding will help Wyke Farms - a local, family-owned, and sustainable firm - promote their iconic British brand and sell more delicious British cheese to customers around the world.”

Meanwhile, a sense of togetherness and camaraderie, as well as the potential of automation to help upskill the workforce at the same time as boosting production, were key takeaways for Wyke Farms managing director Richard Clothier from Business Leaders’ Forum 2022.

Related topics Dairy Operations

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