Part of the Somerset-based processor’s five-year plan for growth, the investment will allow Wyke Farms to produce freshly churned premium butter with longer shelf-lives that can be shipped to ‘premium export markets’ and help reduce waste in store and at home.
Ivy’s Reserve Salted Farmhouse Butter is planned to come to market by Q2 this year and will be the ‘world’s first’ carbon neutral butter, according to Wyke Farms. Conventional and organic butters will also be crafted at the dairy.
Provenance and history
Commenting on the development, managing director Rich Clothier said: “The world butter market is worth nearly 20 billion US$ and is predicted to grow by 50% by 2027. Increasingly, people across the world are looking for premium dairy products with provenance and history – butter is no exception.
“This investment will allow us to offer our multi-award-winning Somerset single-churned artisan butters, with longer shelf life, into regions across the world.”
The dairy expansion was supported by a £480,000 grant from the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The grant funding paid for plant and equipment in the new dairy.
Wyke described the development as both energy and water efficient and will build a sustainable long-term future and sufficient infrastructure for servicing increased sales of butter in both the UK and export markets.
This focus on overseas sales was crucial for the producer following a substantial growth in total export sales both to the EU and the rest of the world – up almost 30% in the year ended 2022.
Wyke Farms’ products are made on the family farm in the centre of the Cheddar making region in Somerset. In the UK Ivy’s Reserve Cheddar is available in Tesco stores nationwide and Wyke Farms cheddar and butter are available in selected Lidl, Morrisons and Southwest ASDA and Tesco stores as well as 167 export markets.
Meanwhile, drinks manufacturer Britvic has announced plans to invest £13m in a new canning line at its Rugby factory, creating new jobs and providing opportunities for apprentices to advance in their roles.