29 March 2000
Creamery pledges top dollar for milk

By Robert Harris

MANAGERS of a north Wales co-operative creamery have pledged to pay its 170 producing members the maximum possible price for their milk.

South Caernarfon Creameries, which last month paid 17.85ppl for a standard litre, will pay less in year-end bonuses, but will retain less profit for re-investment.

General manager Gareth Evans said hard-pressed producers needed immediate help to see them through the slump in the dairy sector.

“Conditions are very tough for the whole dairy industry and we have to be very efficient and competitive to ensure that our suppliers get the best return on their milk to help them through the crisis.”

Mr Evans was unable to say what the new prices would be. But a new deal between South Caernarfon Creameries and Safeway should boost values.

The co-op is now the exclusive supplier of the full range of pre-packed Welsh cheddar cheeses to stores in Wales and along the English border.

The co-op, whose main customer for cheddar is Marks and Spencer, recently joined other Welsh cheese makers to exhibit at a food exhibition i9n Barcelona.

It subsequently received 18 serious enquires about exporting to EU countries.

“Our strategy for maintaining and increasing market share is to investigate all marketing opportunities,” said Mr Evans.

“To pay our producers the best price we have to make very high quality products and develop close working relationships with the supermarkets.”