Cheese has been produced in Campbeltown Creamery for almost 100 years now but its future is under threat. We, the dairy farmers of Kintyre, want to buy the creamery to ensure we can continue producing our world-famous Mull of Kintyre cheddar for our customers now, and long into the future.
In 2018 First Milk announced their intention to sell Campbeltown Creamery to focus on different areas of their business. A buyer was then found, but this fell through in May 2019. It was at this point that we realised that we had actually been presented with a huge opportunity. Why don’t we buy the creamery ourselves, have full control over the whole process from cow to cheese, and secure the future for our award-winning cheddar?
The Importance of Dairy Farming in Kintyre
Mull of Kintyre Cheddar is produced in the traditional way in Campbeltown Creamery, and is made to a long-established recipe using the finest milk from our 29 local farms with sustainable methods of cheese production.
The dairy farming sector in the Kintyre Peninsula and nearby Gigha contributes £5.75 million to the local economy. £3.2 million directly and a further £2.55m is added when upstream impacts are considered. The dairy sector in the area provides 117 jobs directly on farm and a further 49 indirectly across Kintyre that are supported by dairy farming. This is a significant source of employment for a rural community such as this. We have a vibrant community of young dairy farmers on family farms (average age of 37), several have left the area to gain qualifications but have returned to their roots to follow their passion of milking cows! This has a very positive impact on an area trying to stem the impact of rural depopulation We can’t let those committed young people drift away.
At a time when the environment features so high on the agenda, we can also say that the cheddar has a very low carbon footprint. Dairy farming in Kintyre is recognised as being an enviable grass based system due to the long grazing season which benefits from a mild climate influenced by the Gulf Stream. As well as this, all the milk being used to make the cheddar comes from 29 farms, all of which are within 15 miles of the creamery.
Mull of Kintyre Cheddar
Not only is the cheddar produced in a sustainable way, but it tastes fantastic! Don’t just take our word for it, try it and you’ll be back for more. The flavour of the cheese is also said to be enhanced by the “Angel’s Share” of whisky that remains in the building from its days as a distillery. Furthermore, we have won many awards for its quality and deep rounded flavour. Most recently it won 3 golds and 2 silvers at the 2018 Global Cheese Awards.
What we have done so far
When we decided that the best course of action was to buy the creamery, we elected a working group of 7 members to lead on the buy-out and have been working closely with our partners and a number of advisors to ensure our success. We have formed the Mull of Kintyre Supply Cooperative and developed a robust business plan to maintain the current supply and build the brand going forward to unlock its full potential.
How the purchase will be funded
We are not relying solely on the support of generous donors to make this purchase. The 29 farms will be funding a significant chunk of the purchase themselves (over £1.5 million) through a levy from every litre of milk produced. In addition to this, we are also in the process of confirming external funding.
This crowdfunding page is a vital element of the external funding and £50,000 would make a huge difference in helping us reach our final goal - ensuring that you will be able to see Mull of Kintyre Cheddar on the shelves of your local supermarkets, delicatessens and in your favourite cafes and restaurants for many years to come.
By donating today you are doing something amazing! Not only are you helping to secure the future of diary farming in Kintyre, you are helping the local economy to thrive as well as ensuring we all get to enjoy the delicious flavour of Mull of Kintyre cheddar for many years to come.
If you have any questions about anything to do with Mull of Kintyre Cheddar or the purchase please contact us on [email protected]
Please also note that if we do not reach the £50,000 target or if the buy-out does not go ahead for any other reason then you will be fully refunded for your kind contribution.