Producer of the Month: Wyke Farms
The art of traditional cheese making will never be lost on the Somerset farm where the Clothier family have been making Cheddar in Somerset since 1861.
Wyke Farms Cheddar is now enjoyed by people in over 160 countries around the world.
It’s Somerset’s warm summers, fruitful springs, crisp autumns and wet winters that give the family owned-land everything it needs to be the perfect home for making award-winning cheese.
Now run by 3rd generation family member and Managing Director, Richard Clothier, Wyke Farms is one of the largest independent cheese makers and milk processors in the UK producing over 15,000 tonnes of Cheddar per year.
The Clothier family own 3 farms with a total of 1500 cows and 500 followers, but also take in milk from over 100 local farmers who all reside within a 50-mile radius of our farm. These farms as well as the family’s own are Red Tractor Assured.
Although the cheese-making process isn’t as labour intensive now, the traditional methods used by their ancestors haven’t been lost in the gleam of stainless
steel. The Cheddar is still aged in wooden maturing boxes and constantly monitored by their Master Cheese Grader, to ensure a delicious taste and guaranteed
The Clothiers believe the natural way is the only way to make great Cheddar. The family live by the mantra: if you look after nature; then nature will look after you. Therefore, the Clothiers are constantly finding new ways to create a truly symbiotic relationship with the countryside we live and work in. That’s why they make all their cheese using 100% Green Energy.
Love British Food met up with MD Richard Clothier, Wyke Farms to talk more about their cheese production.
Why do you do with you do?
Our shared objective at Wyke Farms is to be the leading supplier of quality branded dairy products to the UK and World markets, focusing on our history, our provenance and sustainability.
We aim to craft and supply the best quality dairy products in the most sustainable way possible to our customers; ensuring they too can enjoy the real taste of Somerset.
We always have and always will stay true to the family values that my Grandparents held so close. This means that we focus on doing business in a way that creates a net-positive impact on our people, the community and the environment.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Bringing our rich heritage to life all over again, and sharing our unique British values with our customers. I have fond memories of my Grandmother Ivy and spent many a Sunday learning how to cook in her farmhouse kitchen. She was a food-lover and along with my dad, taught me how to make the best Cheddar in the world! I am so proud that her legacy lives on because we have the capabilities to share her secret recipe Cheddar with customers everyday. I'd like to think she would be just as proud to see her name on all that cheese, especially when she never left Somerset or went on a plane!
What achievement are you most proud of?
Amongst other successes, I am truly proud that our family business was the first in the UK to become 100% self-sufficient in Green Energy, powering all our operations from solar and bio-gas generated from otherwise useless farm and cheese-making waste. The farming sector is often criticised for it's role in global warming, and I think it's incredibly important that food producers, just like us, make sure they do what they can to mitigate climate change wherever possible; with minimal use of the earth's resources. I like to call it 'practical environmentalism' - changing or adding to simple working practices to make a difference.
Why should we buy more British produce?
Less than half of the butter eaten in the UK, and only one third of cheese, comes from milk produced on British farms. If customers don't support manufacturers in the domestic market, and in turn their suppliers; it's likely traditions, such as cheese-making will be lost forever.
To add to this, British standards for animal welfare and food quality are deemed one of the best in the world. So buying British guarantee's quality and food safety, second to none.
How do you think we should be promoting British?
At Wyke Farms we are keen educators. We regularly host visits to the farm and welcome guests of varying ages. Education is key to helping shoppers understand the importance of supporting British producers, as well as the benefits of buying British has to offer.
If you were an advertising executive what slogan would you use to promote British food?
We've used a few slogans over the years, our favourite being: 'From Our Family, to Yours'. It seems for most British producers, family and tradition are core values, but what matters most at the latter end of the chain, is that shoppers are buying for their families too. Feeding the family wholesome, good quality food with a full farm to fork story, fewer road miles on the clock and trusted provenance are just a few reasons shoppers should buy British - 'Eat Best, Eat British'.
What's on the menu this evening?
Cheese for Tea of course! At Wyke Farms we love to share recipes that we've created as a family. Cheese is a great protein source and great included in recipes or just used as a topping. My particular favourite is our Pea, Mint and Potato Quiche.
How can people get hold of your produce?
We're very proud that our Cheddar is now sold in over 160 countries, meaning customers all over the world are able to enjoy our award-winning Somerset Cheddar. In the UK, Wyke Farms products are available in selected Lidl stores and in South West UK Asda, Co-op, Morrisons and Tesco stores. All products are also available online at www.wykefarms.com/shop
Follow Wyke Farms on social media:
Award-winning family-run Somerset cheese-makers Wyke Farms have been crafting their award-winning Cheddar for over 150 years. And now with their irresistible cheese-lovers pack, complete with their full range of Cheddars, cheese-board, chutney, biscuits and a knife; their Somerset Cheddar is only a slice away!
Wyke Farms are giving away a hamper worth £50 to celebrate British Food Fortnight, simply follow @LoveBritishFood and @wykefarms on Twitter and retweet
the competition post. Competition closes on 28th September. Hamper to be sent direct from Wyke Farms to the winner. In the unlikely event any
of the products listed become unavailable, Wyke Farms reserves the right to substitute with products, which it may determine as being of equal value.’
Enjoy their family-made Cheddar, with your family and friends this summer.
- 1x Wyke Farms Mature Cheddar (300g)
- 1x Wyke Farms Extra Mature Cheddar (300g)
- 1 x Wyke Farms Vintage Cheddar (300g)
- Wyke Farms Cheeseboard
- Hard Cheese Knife
- Wyke Farms Udder mug
- Wyke Farms Caramelised Onion and Tomato Chutney
- Wyke Farms Rosemary Water Biscuits
- Wyke Farms Cool Bag