For a quarter of a century, Wyke Farms and Christeyns Food Hygiene have built a relationship that has helped promote the growth of both businesses and in doing so influenced the future of their own market sectors.
Wyke Farms, based in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, is the largest independent producer of cheese in the UK, as well as a producer of renewable energy, and can trace its farming origins back over 150 years.
Graham Hunneman, Director of Sales & Corporate Accounts at hygiene specialist Christeyns Food Hygiene, started to work with Wyke Farms 25 years ago when it was just a regional producer with a small dairy. Initially supplying hygiene chemicals under the company name Klenzan, the relationship has grown with Christeyns Food Hygiene installing and managing hygiene systems that support Wyke’s sustainable goals in terms of water and energy saving.
Today, run by Richard Clothier, a third-generation cheesemaker, Wyke Farms export its award-winning cheddar to 160 countries worldwide, producing 18,000 tonnes per year. Still produced from his grandmother’s original recipe written down in 1861, the firm thrives on its rich heritage and tradition.
“We are very pleased to celebrate 25 years of working with Christeyns,” comments Richard. “Over these years Christeyns has remained a friendly, reliable, reactive and hardworking partner. We very much value the partnership that we have with them and look forward to another 25 years of growing together.”
Earlier this year Wyke Farms commenced its dairy expansion project, part of a 5-year growth plan underpinned by sustainably increasing volume and strategically targeting specific regions worldwide. Named ‘Ivy’s Dairy’ after Wyke Farms’ matriarch, Ivy Clothier, the new space will include a 16,589m² state-of-the- art production facility.
The firm already converts 100,000 tonnes of farm and dairy waste each year into energy and is the first national cheddar brand to be 100% self-sufficient in green energy. This new development is both energy and water efficient and sympathetic to the surrounding environment, with soft landscaping and a natural grass roof.
“We are so proud to have played our part in helping this family business grow into an iconic brand, known the world over,” comments Graham. “Supporting Wyke Farms with this new phase in its development underlines our shared commitment to providing the best possible solution not only for Wyke’s business but for its customers and the environment.”
Wyke Farms is a progressive business that doesn’t stand still, continuing to challenge itself to find more sustainable ways to operate, to protect the local environment and harness natural resources. This continual strive for innovation is very much in common with Christeyns Food Hygiene’s own principles and is one reason why their working partnership has gone from strength to strength.