Posted: 18/02/2019

Cornish artisans making use of unwanted goats’ milk

Whalesborough Cheese’s Nanny Muffet is made with milk from a farm that recently lost its dairy contract with Arla

New goats’ cheeses are springing up in Cornwall as producers tap into a rise in the availability of milk caused by Arla terminating the dairy contracts at goat farms across the county.

The dairy giant, which makes goats’ cheese at its Trevarrian creamery in Newquay, cancelled contracts with all nine of its milk suppliers last year leaving farms in a precarious position. Some of the surfeit of milk has been taken up by the county’s artisan cheesemakers, including Whalesborough Cheese. The Bude-based company launched the semi-hard Nanny Muffet in January using milk from former Arla supplier Chris Britton.

“Chris faced going out of business if I didn’t get behind him, which would be terrible,” said owner Sue Proudfoot. “It’s a real opportunity having a supply of goats’ milk on my doorstep because there’s still a lot of room for goats’ cheeses to grow here.”

Cornish Cheese Company also launched a new blue goats’ cheese called Cornish Nanny last year, after teaming up with former Arla supplier Holland Farmers.

Arla served 12-months’ notice on its goat milk suppliers in January 2018 amid speculation it is planning to stop goats’ cheese production in Cornwall. 

“The goat milk market was finely balanced for 20 years but then Arla actively encouraged farmers to enter the market as it saw a potential for growth in goats’ milk cheeses,” said Sam Kelly, secretary of the Milking Goat Association. “Their decision to suddenly terminate contracts was devastating and has caused an oversupply in the industry.”

This story appeared in the January/February issue of Fine Food Digest. You can read more on the digital edition here.

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