Organic dairy alliance announces joint business identity
Wyke Farms and OMSCo have today announced the launch of their new joint business identity ‘The British Organic Dairy Company.’
The collaboration will provide a more robust, yet flexible, operation to produce key organic dairy products, for domestic and global markets.
“In July, we announced that we were forming a partnership with Wyke Farms,” says OMSCo’s managing director Richard Hampton. “The partnership, within which we both have an equal share, provides us with a focus to grow organic dairy opportunities together.
“The launch of our business-to-business brand, ‘The British Organic Dairy Company’, is an exciting development and will enable us to facilitate the sales and marketing of our products under a joint brand identity.”
At the heart of the partnership is a desire from both companies to vertically integrate to produce a guaranteed supply of high quality, good value organic dairy products across the globe.
“By working with Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese maker, we can provide a unique proposition to distributors and retailers and take advantage of growing markets,” says Mr Hampton.
He adds that OMSCo has proven expertise in producing organic milk to specific export standards and already has EU, USDA and Chinese certification.
“Through the partnership, Wyke Farms will source all their organic milk requirements from ourselves, providing a flexible, yet guaranteed, supply of organic milk. And in turn, we will also take a share in the ownership of bulk organic cheddar stocks.”
Richard Clothier, managing director and third generation family member at Wyke Farms, explains that the company is excited about the opportunities the partnership, and subsequent joint identity, presents.
“We know that global demand for organic dairy is growing, but we’re also aware of domestic opportunities.
“For instance, the UK organic cheese category is currently under performing relative to overall organic dairy, with just 1% market share within cheese, compared to 5% in liquid milk and 8.5% in yogurt,” says Mr Clothier.
He attributes this shortfall to supply chain issues, such as, poor-quality driving low repeat purchase, sporadic supply and a relatively costly supply chain.
However, he adds that through the partnership these issues will be mitigated. “Having a guaranteed supply of organic milk and mutual focus on growing the category will enable us to increase our stock levels and produce more cost-effective products.
“This will create a solid platform to grow sales of organic dairy products and enable us to reach the potential of a growing world market, now and post-Brexit,” adds Mr Clothier.
“The alliance brings together quality and excellence in organic dairy production, from the world’s second largest 100% organic milk producer, combined with award winning cheddar quality from Wyke Farms; the most sustainable cheese maker in the world – it really is a world beating collaboration.”
Helen Maiden Pinstone Communications T: 01568 617623 or M: 07890 097906
Notes to Editor:
The British Organic Dairy Company
The British Organic Dairy Company is a new joint venture between Somerset based cheddar maker Wyke Farms, and OMSCo, the world’s second largest dedicated organic milk pool. The collaboration combines organic dairy excellence from OMSCo, with award winning standards from the most sustainable cheese maker in the world. Wyke Farms and OMSCo have a long-standing relationship of over 25 years, and until 2017 had worked together on processing. This year marks the start of their joint aim to become the supplier of choice across the world for organic cheese, butter and premium cheese by-products. The business is committed to growing the organic dairy category and making the best quality, most sustainable organic dairy products in the world to the benefit of their customers, farmers, cows, the environment, suppliers and shareholders.
The Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo) was formed in 1994 by a group of dairy farmers with a shared belief that there is simply a ‘better way to farm’. Now nearly twenty-five years old, the passion and belief of those original members has inspired others; OMSCo has transformed its member base, customer base and market reach. OMSCo is now the largest UK organic dairy cooperative and the second largest dedicated organic milk pool in the world. It remains the only 100% organic farmer-owned and farmer-run British dairy cooperative in the UK with 270 members.
OMSCo has always taken the leading role in driving the awareness of the benefits of organic milk in the UK, and supporting and encouraging organic dairy farmers. OMSCo supplies the majority of the UK’s organic dairy processing needs and is the leading dairy exporter of organic raw milk, bulk ingredients, specialist ingredients and consumer products. Due to the recent expansion of its organic cheese business with Wyke, OMSCo has also established itself as the only UK supplier of organic whey.
OMSCo was the first European dairy company under the EU-US Equivalency Agreement, to be able to sell dairy products in the US that are certified organic by the USDA. Partnerships are a cornerstone of OMSCo’s growth strategy and in 2013 OMSCo partnered with US organic giant Organic Valley, the world’s largest dedicated organic milk pool and $1bn brand at retail, to drive its US export business. In 2015 OMSCo and Organic Valley took their partnership a step further by agreeing a mutual financial stake in each other’s cooperatives and cementing a long-term alliance. Earlier this year OMSCo announced a second strategic supply alliance with Europe’s third largest dedicated milk pool, Eko Holland.
OMSCo is the longest established organic dairy cooperative in the UK, now with an annual turnover of £100m.
Wyke Farms Ltd is a family run company based in the heart of the Somerset cheddar-making region. The art of traditional cheese making will never be lost on the Somerset farm where the Clothier family have been making cheddar in Somerset since 1861. Today, Wyke Farms is one of the largest independent cheese makers and milk processors in the UK producing over 15,000 tonnes of cheddar per year to the same award winning 155-year-old recipe.
The Wyke Farms brand is the 4th largest brand in the Cheddar category and the only independent company in the top 10 cheese brands with retail sales of over £60 million.
Wyke remains a truly traditional family business. Ivy’s grandsons Richard and Tom now run the cheese making operations with their father John, whilst her other two Grandsons David and Roger run the family dairy farming operations. The four grandchildren share Ivy’s passion for cheese making where flavour, texture and taste are paramount. They believe that this attention to detail is the reason that their cheese has won more awards at national cheese shows than any other.
Wyke Farms are committed to sustainable farming and are proud to be the UK’s first national cheddar brand to become 100% self-sufficient in green energy. Wyke Farms sources all of its electricity and gas from both solar and biogas, generated from the farm and dairy waste. The biogas energy is generated from its own anaerobic digester (AD) plant, which saves Wyke Farms over 20 million kilos of carbon dioxide per annum. They have received national and international recognition for their on-going commitment to sustainability.