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Somerset-based family cheese maker expands globally with £30M support package

UK Export Finance helps cheddar producer Wyke Farms to withstand rising dairy prices and grow its international business

Established in 1861, Wyke Farms is the UK’s largest independent cheese producer, exporting around 6,000 tonnes of cheddar every year to over 160 countries, including Japan, Australia, South Africa and the USA
Commitment to sustainability runs through the business with operations powered by 100% renewable energy

Wyke Farms’ products are in high demand – but rising inflation has hugely impacted the cost of milk, increasing Wyke Farms’ production costs exponentially. Wyke Farms’ existing financing facility needed to be revisited to cover the increase in costs, so UKEF stepped in guaranteeing a £30 million General Export Facility with Barclays, allowing the business to continue its upwards trajectory and plough ahead with its global expansion plans.

Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch said: “I am delighted to see our first-class food producers take full advantage of opportunities outside the EU that trade opens up.

“This funding will help Wyke Farms – a local, family-owned, and sustainable firm – promote their iconic British brand and sell more delicious British cheese to customers around the world.”

A sustainability-led heritage brand

The business has a deep commitment to sustainability, with its operations powered 100% by its own renewable power and green gas. Wyke Farms also recoups 70% of the water used in the production process, while it also pumps 20,000 cubic metres of green gas back into the local power grid every day, contributing to the carbon balance of the business.

Richard Clothier, third generation family members and managing director at Wyke Farms said: “We’re grateful for UKEF’s support and Barclays which enabled us to fulfil our growing export sales despite the rising cost of production,

By developing these new regions, we can expand sales of our more premium cheeses which helps to improve the milk price paid to Southwest farmers and therefore benefits the whole region. This UKEF support has enables us to grow our business quicker by allowing us to continue to push further into markets all over the world.”

James Binns, Global Head of Trade & Working Capital at Barclays, said: “Barclays is passionate about supporting the trade and exporting agenda and policy makers and finance providers have a vital role to play in stimulating a thriving, export-led economy.

“Supporting Wyke Farms with their working capital is a powerful example of how the private and public sector can work together to bring the benefits of UK Export Finance to bear in these challenging times.. The solution we have put in place will enable driven and focused businesses like Wyke Farms to continue their export growth strategy, fulfilling opportunities and diversifying into new markets”.

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