Forty new jobs are to be created at a rapidly expanding Cornish dairy, along with big benefits for farmers, in a four- year development programme triggered by record grant aid.
Trewithen Dairy, a family business near Lostwithiel, will undergo a transformation with the aid of a £5.7 million grant – the biggest awarded to date under the Rural Development Programme for England in South West England.
Delivered by the South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA), the grant will help Trewithen increase its staff to around 120 and boost production capacity by 80%from its present 80,000 litres of milk per day.
Trewithen has become Cornwall’s third biggest milk buyer – from 17 local Cornish farms – and a condition of the grant is that Trewithen continues to pay a higher price for this milk, always above the South West average, to help create a more vibrant market.
The development programme will include an expanded processing area, improved infrastructure and purpose-built new offices and staff facilities to replace the temporary accommodation.
There will also be major investment in equipment and staff training aimed at further improving the quality of products and service.
Trewithen will also strive to achieve greater “professionalism” to satisfy the challenging requirements of the big supermarket chains that have contributed to the dairy’s growing business volumes in recent years.
But managing director Bill Clarke stressed that the independents and “corner shops” would remain the foundation and core of the business. “These have always been at the heart of our development,” he said.
“We are tremendously excited to have been awarded such a big grant, which will facilitate major investment resulting in win-win all round – for Trewithen Dairy, for Cornish farmers, for all our customers and for the Cornish economy.
“More than anything, it will enable us to consolidate and progress our vision of working with the farmer milk suppliers to continue giving them one of the best milk prices for the best quality Cornish milk, with excellent cow welfare and care for our environment.”