10 April 2000
Cows slaughtered as creamery closes

By FWi staff

MORE than 800 milking cows and their calves face being slaughtered following the closure of the Islay Cheese Company in the Hebrides, reports The Times

The animals will be shipped to abattoirs in the next two weeks after KPMG, the receiver, failed to find a buyer for the company, claims the newspaper.

The Port Charlotte creamery, on the island of Islay, was taken over as a co-operative by eight island farmers in 1997.

But it has become a victim of the slump in the dairy sector, the strong pound and unfavourable supermarket pricing, says The Times.

The company went into receivership a fortnight ago. About 25 jobs will be lost.

Closure of the creamery is a huge blow for the 3000 people who live on Islay and depend on farming, whisky production and tourism to make a living, the paper says

“It will leave the island with just one dairy farm, producing milk for the local population, where there were 70 just 50 years ago.”

The creamery produced about 300 tonnes of cheese a year but was able to sell only about half of it at the right price to the niche market.