Kevin Beer is the co-founder of Millbrook Dairy – a dairy enterprise that focuses on the manufacturing of cheddar and butter. He based the corporate alongside David Evans, the duo having beforehand labored at Ornua Meals UK and who’ve been cheesemakers prior to now.
“David and I had talked about doing one thing on our personal for years,” Beer informed us. “We loved working within the company world, however we knew we might supply one thing that was extra agile and dynamic if we arrange our personal enterprise.
“Ultimately, we felt that the timing was proper – we needed to ‘get off the pot’ and check out, it was a now-or-never second! There have been one million causes to not do it, to not take the danger, however we knew that except we tried, we’d by no means know what was potential.”
Since then, the corporate has been busy with bulk cheese and butter manufacturing in addition to its personal manufacturers, together with Seanachai Irish Cheddar, and 1057 Scottish Additional Mature cheddar. In October, the corporate reported a 30% enhance in turnover and income enhance of £6m. Export can also be being constantly strengthened, in keeping with Beer. “Every year, we’re rising our exports, and this yr we’re operating at about 15% of our turnover, so circa £6m,” he stated.
“Our greatest market is the European Union, the place we each purchase and promote product. We export cheddar and import gouda and mozzarella. A lot of our merchandise, together with our personal value-add model, 1057 Scottish Additional Mature Cheddar, are exported internationally, significantly to the US, Canada, and Australia.”
This expertise included navigating Brexit-related buying and selling uncertainties at the beginning of 2021, when cheddar exports dipped general, solely to get well once more this yr. Beer says this decline in exports was ‘as a result of late decision-making by the federal government on the time’. “There was a common lack of readability concerning the guidelines throughout all sectors and stakeholders as to what the principles can be,” he informed us. “This inertia created big issues for a lot of. We labored tirelessly with our companions, each right here and abroad throughout the availability and demand aspect to handle these challenges by way of the transition interval. We now have a full competence in export, offering a full export service for third events.”
Beer stated well timed buying choices have been key to place the corporate on agency footing at the beginning of this yr. “Over the past 4 years, dairy costs have been agency and steadily rising. We might see in 2021 how quite a few components have been conspiring to push diary costs up considerably additional. We have been seeing international dairy manufacturing was down, and shares have been falling. In response, we made our purchasing choices early, placing us in a powerful place as we entered 2022.”
And with rising meals inflation alongside enter costs for meals producers, ‘we’re seeing the primary indicators that record-high dairy costs are starting to have an effect on international demand,’ Beer famous. “The demand ranges must be watched intently to make sure that high-priced dairy merchandise should not produced and not using a residence – in any other case there’s a huge threat that costs will fall effectively beneath the price of manufacturing sparking a pointy decline in provide,” he added.
In 2023, the corporate is concentrating on butter as a key space for progress. “In the identical method that we supply and provide cheddar, we’re constructing our portfolio of butter clients throughout quite a few sectors together with foodservice, industrial and bakeries,” Beer informed us. “While we proceed to produce bulk butter, we now have a full vary of codecs and sizes, together with our hottest line measurement 7 mini parts.”
And with the arrival of the winter festivities, Millbrook Dairy is about to launch a limited-edition cheddar underneath its 1057 Scottish Additional Mature Cheddar model. “This Christmas we’re providing a 200g Black Waxed 1057 truckle, filled with flavour and looking out sensible for the event,” concluded Beer.