The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Wyke Farms is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
19WYKE FARMS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Richard Clothier, managing
Ivy’s vintage mature
Wyke Farms are a luxury vintage cheddar manufacturer
based in Wyke Champflower, Somerset, a few
miles away from the village of Cheddar. The family
of managing director Richard Clothier have been making
prizewinning farmhouse cheddar for nearly 300 years, and
formally founded the business in the early 1900s. Wyke Farms
cheese is now sold in over 160 countries, while they employ
310 people. Richard discusses how their insistence on quality
has allowed them to become a popular luxury cheddar brand
around the world.
My grandmother Ivy was the first person to write down the recipe for our vintage
cheddar, a product that still takes her name. While her recipe remains in our
safe, her famous vintage cheddar is sold in over 160 countries around the world.
Quite an achievement for a woman who never left the farm, let alone travelled on
Passionate about our produce
We can always be proud of our work because we know it is having a positive
impact on both our community and the environment. Our ethos is based in our
passion for quality cheese that is made in an environmentally responsible way. This
ethos is resonating with shoppers and it is opening doors for us all over the world.
We have grown from a regional cheddar supplier to a producer supplying UK
retailers and the international market.
»Established in the early 1900s
»Based in Wyke Champflower,
Somerset, with a packing
and distribution depot in
»Services: Supply of quality
farmhouse cheddar around
»No. of employees: 310
»Won Europe’s most sustainable
business at the European
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | WYKE FARMS
Our product is a food with a story. In
Asia especially, we have found our
produce to be a popular gifting item.
People like to express themselves with
food, and our product is an expression
of skill and a handcrafted family
recipe. The farm is based a few miles
away from the village of cheddar,
which gives our brand an even
We produce a cheese that is of the
highest quality and this has enabled
us to grow our exports worldwide.
Our cheese is to be enjoyed with wine
after a meal, or with a small glass of
whiskey. This is why we have been
successful with emerging pockets of
affluence and have since then targeted
them as our customer base.
The worldwide economy is changing,
and we have taken advantage of
the pockets of affluence growing in
countries where they did not previously
exist. These wealthier people are
looking to explore quality British
food products with heritage and
provenance. Our Ivy’s vintage cheddar
– which is matured for nearly two
years – provides just that.
As we mature our cheddar for two
years, we have to be aware of global
economic trends. The recent growth in
our market has been rapid; however,
we are always looking two or three
years ahead. We are increasingly
collaborating with other UK food
businesses, by taking their products
to international markets and allowing
them to take advantage of our daily
delivery network in Europe. We now
have bespoke ranges of our finest Ivy’s
vintage cheddar that we are exporting
directly and indirectly to 160 countries
across the world. France is perhaps our
biggest export market, where we are
featured in all major retailers. We are
establishing trade links with Asia and are
now exporting to 15 countries inAfrica.
South America does present an
exciting prospect for us; however,
the trade deals are not in place to
make this possible on a large scale
just yet. India represents a similar
situation as a country with increasing
levels of affluence and a fast-growing
Our cows grazing on
pastures of the Mendip Hills
AD plant producing
power to make cheese
Our ethos is
based in our
that is made in
way. This ethos
and it is
for us all over
21WYKE FARMS |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Wyke Farms is very much a family
business, and we have always known
that if you look after nature, it will
look after you. This is very much the
guiding principle behind our 100-per-
cent-green strategy. This strategy
is about ensuring that the business
generates a net positive impact, which
for us means that the environment, the
region and the community are better
off for having our business here than
they would be without it.
We have invested £18 million in our
green mission so far, and we now
generate all our own power from
renewable sources. Ninety per cent of
the water that is used in our processes is
recovered, and we have helped develop
biodiversity in the Brue Valley through
tree planting and encouragingwildlife.
Our strict focus on the environment has
added to our brand message. People
across the world want to know that the
foods that they eat are produced in the
most environmentally responsible way
and we can deliver onthat.
The first region where we used our
100-per-cent-green strategy on the
product label was the USA. Consumers
made it clear in their feedback that
they wanted products that were not
damaging to the environment, and we
have been able to show them that we
share those values. The awards and
acclaim we have received as a result
of our work is testament to our work.
At the European Business Awards, we
were voted Europe’s most sustainable
business, while we are the first UK
company to achieve the Carbon Trust
Fit for the future
In order to prepare ourselves for the
future we have invested in our cheese
production methods. We are able to
make over 20,000 tonnes of cheddar
per year, and we have invested in
packing machines and packing formats
to service a growing world market.
Becoming fit for the future also
means recruiting and keeping the best
people that we can. Our family has
now grown to over 300 people and
this is despite continued investment
in automated robotics to reduce the
demand for repetitive manual labour.
We also want to continue to have a
net positive impact going forward.
This means continuing to care for our
environment, but also servicing our
community and helping to improve the
lives of its residents.
Wyke Farms is
very much a
and we have
that if you look
after nature, it
will look after
you. This is very
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.