Record-breaking 80 awards for South Caernarfon Creameries

Wales’ oldest dairy farming co-operative is celebrating a record scoop of 80 awards after impressing judges with their expanding range of Welsh-made cheeses and butter.

Foodie experts across the UK awarded 20 gold awards to South Caernarfon Creameries in 2019, including top prizes for a unique new Smoked Cheddar made in partnership with Anglesey salt makers Halen Môn, as well as their classic Mature, and Mild Cheddars.

The co-operative also impressed judges at some of the country’s most prestigious food and agricultural shows including the British Cheese Awards held annually at the Bath and West Show, the Royal Highland Show in Scotland, and the International Cheese Awards held at Nantwich.

South Caernarfon Creameries has 130 farming members who supply milk from across North and Mid Wales to the factory it has occupied at Chwilog near Pwllheli, for more than 80 years.

There, the co-operative’s 130-strong staff make Wales’ much-loved Dragon brand products, as well as own-label products for the retail, wholesale and export markets.

2019 awards

Among SCC’s cheeses that scooped gold prizes across the UK this year were the were Wensleydale, Mature Coloured, Cheshire, Red Leicester, Vintage Cheddar with Leeks, Half Fat and Caerphilly.

SCC’s Dragon brand Butter secured the top Overall Dairy champion prize and a Gold prize at the prestigious Royal Highland Show.

Butter from the dairy also secured a further five gold prizes at the British Cheese Awards held at the Bath and West Show, the Royal Welsh Show, Frome Agricultural & Cheese Show, Mid Somerset Show, and the Devon Show.

The dairy’s classic Mature Cheddar brought home the Best Block cheddar and a Gold award from the British Cheese Awards, where the dairy overall secured 15 prizes, including a Gold for the Extra Mature Cheddar.

There were 20 prizes in total secured at the Royal Welsh Show including Gold and Silver for the Smoked Cheddar, with Golds also for the dairy’s popular Wensleydale, Cheshire and Mature Coloured cheeses.

A host of other prizes were brought home from Frome Agricultural & Cheese Show where there were Golds for SCC’s Caerphilly, Vintage Cheddar with Leeks, and Half fat cheeses, the Mid Somerset Show, where there were first prizes for the dairy’s Mature Cheddar, Red Leicester, Cheshire, Vintage Cheddar with Leeks, and Butter, and the Devon Show where the Reduced Fat cheese and Butter both won first prizes.

Alan Wyn Jones, managing director at South Caernarfon Creameries, said: “We’re very pleased indeed to have secured 80 prizes making this a record-breaking year at South Caernarfon Creameries.

The results are a testament to the high quality of the milk supplied by our farming members across north and mid-Wales, and the excellent work by our staff here on the Llyn Peninsula to maintain such a high quality across the full variety of products.

“We have been delighted this year to release our new handcrafted range, and it was fantastic to see the Smoked Cheddar, which was developed with our partners at Halen Mon, receive so many awards.

“We are very proud that our traditional butter continues to impress. It was a particular star of the Royal Highland Show in Scotland which was a prestigious win against tough competition from across the UK.

“We continuously work to develop new products and refine our existing ones, and this will be ongoing as we continue to secure more suppliers to bring our Welsh made products to the tables of more and more dairy lovers.”