FARM PRODUCTIVITY

WEST CORNWALL

£117,280.79 FUNDED

Production of Cornish Kern

Lynher Dairies Ltd

To create a new chilled storage and packing facility for the new product Cornish Kern.

Officially the best cheese in the world

It’s official: a small dairy in Cornwall produces the best cheese in the world.

Cornish Kern, produced by Lynher Dairies in Ponsanooth, near Truro, has been named the best in the world, beating big names from France and Italy. It competed against 3,300 other cheeses from 35 countries to be voted Supreme Champion at the World Cheese Awards held in London in November 2017.

Lynher Dairies is better known as the sole producer of Yarg, an iconic Cornish cheese wrapped in wild nettles or wild garlic, which has also won Super Gold awards at the World Cheese Awards.

Catherine Mead has spent the last 20 years learning about making cheese. She has attended training and development courses, judged tasting awards and was invited to become a member of the International Guilde de Fromagers. She has a long association with the dairy, and took over as owner and Managing Director in 2006.

Sales of Yarg peak in the summer when Cornwall is inundated with visitors. The dairy recognised that producing a longer-maturing cheese would smooth out the production curve, and so they developed Cornish Kern from an Alpine recipe.

Catherine said: “Kern gives us the option to make a consistent amount all through the year, which is better for employment and cash flow.”

The name Kern means ‘round’ in Cornish (the cheese is produced in circular truckles). “We wanted a striking single-syllable word and good Cornish name for the brand,” Catherine says.

Described as “buttery with caramel notes”, Kern needs to mature for 16 months, which requires a large storage facility to keep the cheese in optimum conditions while it is maturing and to provide enough space so production can continue year-round.

 

Helping provide economic support to rural communities
LEADER funding, secured through West Cornwall Local Action Group, helped the dairy build a new maturing store. “Until we had the storage facility we couldn’t fully commit to Kern, and production amounts were very small,” Catherine says.

Building the new store has also freed production space and enabled the business to plan for its future growth through Kern.

Catherine said: “The LEADER grant made it happen; if we hadn’t had the funding we would have struggled to build the store.”

After the award, the dairy was inundated with orders for Kern. The plan is to increase production to 90 tonnes per annum in (50% growth).

The dairy originally employed 30 staff, and added another five employees for the Kern production. They require an additional 700,000 litres of Cornish milk per annum to produce Kern, providing vital income for local farmers.

With its reputation as a fair employer, companies like Lynher Dairies are essential to rural Cornwall. Catherine said: “Providing economic support to the community is probably the most valuable thing we do, so anything that reinforces that is good for Cornwall and the community.”

To find out more about Kern, visit the website www.lynherdairies.co.uk

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