Putting Local Cheese On The Map In The Vale Of Clwyd

30 Mar

Thought it would be good to share with you a good news press release that came in this morning – hope it helps some of you in the Vale of Clwyd area. PR follows:

A new initiative has been launched to turn the Vale of Clwyd into a cheese making area like Brie and Camembert. The rural development agency Cadwyn Clwyd believe the Vale’s top quality pastures are perfect for producing fine cheese. They are running special courses to encourage a new breed of artisan cheese-makers to learn the secrets that have made household names of their famous French counterparts.

The idea already has the backing of a top delicatessen, Leonardo’s in Ruthin, who would love to stock local cheese to sell alongside its array of British and Continental favourites. Ceris Brunzel-Roberts, of Leonardo’s, is keen to persuade local dairy producers to diversify into specialist cheese-making. She said: “We get lots of tourists calling and they ask about local cheeses and we would really like to be able to sell something that’s made on a local farm. Denbighshire and the Vale of Clwyd, in particular, is one of
the UK’s top dairy regions and yet we don’t have artisan cheesemakers the way they do in France and Italy. We would love to be able to stock Bodfari and Graigfechan cheeses alongside Brie and Camembert. “There is good quality cheese made at the creamery in Llandyrnog but no homemade localcheeses. If there were I’m sure it would fly off the shelves when tourists are here in the summer.”

Cadwyn Clwyd Agri-Food Project Officer Robert Price said: “We have two-day courses which we can run at the Food Technology Centre in Llangefni for anyone interested. It might be a farmer or farmer’s wife looking to diversify, it doesn’t need to be a dairy farmer, it can be someone who can access a supply of milk or perhaps someone interested in producing goat’s milk or ewe’s milk
cheese – after all we have plenty of sheep here. The same thing has been done in Anglesey with tremendous success and they now have a number of artisan cheesemakers there. Normandy is a big dairy area just like the Vale of Clwyd and there they have a Cheese Triangle with Camembert, Livarot and Pont L’Eveque, all soft white cheeses made within a few miles of each other – why not here?”

Cadwyn Clwyd will sponsor courses at Llangefni, paid for by the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government. The cheese making courses will be held at the Food Technology Centre, in Llangefni and Paul Roberts the Centres Business Developer explained: “We are
proud of the range of added value dairy products that have been developed at the Centre. We hope to build on the success of the local cheese makers we have supported in developing their excellent products, such as Y Cwt Caws and their goat cheese, Rhyd Y
Delyn and their Camembert and Gorau Glas with their award winning blue cheese. The courses we will be running in partnership with Cadwyn Clwyd will provide an overview of the cheese making process and hopefully inspire a new group of artisan cheese producers. Going forward, the dairy production facilities at the Food Technology Centre can be rented for up to two
days a week, which really helps keep initial start-up costs to a minimum’ This is an exciting opportunity, as with some further practice and guidance from the team at the Food Technology Centre, producers will be able to achieve consistent results so as to sell a high quality cheese to a market which has proven demand, not only in Clwyd but on a national level.”

Gorau Glas has even won a top award at the renowned Nantwich Cheese Show for its soft blue veined cheese and Robert Price is keen to hear from would-be local producers keen to emulate that success.

One who is interested is Ceris’s husband, Andreas Brunzel-Roberts, who said: “I’d definitely like to have a go. We get so many enquiries that I’m sure a specialist locally made cheese would do well. If they can do it on Anglesey then there’s no reason why it couldn’t work here.”

Robert Price said that they were also keen to hear from people interested in other areas of dairy diversification such as butter and ice-cream and he added: “We are also able to hold one-day ice cream-making courses at Llangefni and there is also potential in butter so we would be interested in hearing from anyone interested in these products too.”

For more details on Cadwyn Clwyd’s cheese-making and ice-cream making courses contact Robert Price on 01824 705802 or email

Cadwyn Clwyd continues to look for innovative projects to support which help safeguard the area’s natural, cultural and heritage assets and maximise their economic potential for local businesses and communities, for more details

This project is supported by Cadwyn Clwyd Rural Development Agency. The project is part funded by the EU Rural Development Plan for Wales and the Welsh Government.



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  1. admin

    April 3, 2012 at 9:49 am

    This is an interesting idea and I’m all for encouraging new food producers. My worry is that making the produce is only the start and that in itself is not easy even with this support on offer. Then you have the marketing and to achieve sales – are the people that go forward for this scheme going to be helped with this as well? If not to me it’s a waste of time.
    Sales and marketing skills are what many producers lack.