AN ORGANIC dairy has won national recognition for its cheese as it steps up production of its products to meet growing demand.
Acorn Dairy, which operates organic farms at Archdeacon Newton, near Darlington and Spennithorne, near Leyburn, has invested in new equipment to keep pace with the popularity of its milk, cream and cheese.
Two 1,600 litre cream tanks have been installed at Acorn Dairy in County Durham, which produces 50,000 litres of milk a week from its 370 Friesian cross Shorthorns at its farms.
And it has just landed a bronze medal in the British Cheese Awards for its Archdeacon Mature cheese which is now being entered into the World Cheese Awards which will be staged in Birmingham on November 24.
The cheese is made by Wensleydale Creamery using organic milk from the dairy’s Wensleydale herd near Leyburn.
It was entered into the awards by cheese expert Terry Farr who runs The Cheese and Wine Shop in Clarke’s Yard, Darlington.
Acorn Dairy director Caroline Tweddle said: “It is delicious and we are thrilled it has received recognition in this way.
“People don’t realise we make cheese and we are delighted to work with Terry who has such in-depth product knowledge.
“We first sent some milk to the Hawes Creamery in spring 2009 and the cheese has developed into something really special. We can’t wait to see how it does in the world championships.”
Farr said: “It started life as a Wensleydale but there was a delay in getting it ready. It continued to mature at the dairy and it changed very much for the better.”
It is also stepping up the production of its Brie which has become increasingly popular since it was first made two years ago.
Until now its manufacture has been limited to the summer and autumn half term when they had surplus milk available.
“It is something that makes good use of the spare milk volumes available over the holidays when our doorstep milk customers are away and people have really enjoyed it,” said Tweddle. “Our customers wanted more to be available.
“Now we have extra capacity and the brie available all year round for doorstep milk customers, vegetable box schemes, local cafes and restaurants.
“Demand has been strong from the start. My initial predictions fell short, but this is a nice problem to have.”