Food and Beverage Business

Saputo’s Wensleydale Creamery Makes New Investment in Smoked Cheese Technology in the UK

Saputo's Wensleydale Creamery Makes New Investment in Smoked Cheese Technology in the UK Saputo Food and Beverage Business

UK cheese maker Wensleydale Creamery has invested an undisclosed sum in new machinery to increase its production of smoked cheese. The new technology has been installed at the Saputo-owned group’s facility in Hawes, North Yorkshire. According to the company, the smoking machinery has already doubled its existing output. Wensleydale Creamery’s investment will allow the cheesemaker to add smoked oak, hickory, and beech flavors to its line of cheeses. The present smoked products range includes a naturally smoked Cheddar and Wensleydale. The company also manufactures other Wensleydale and Cheddar cheeses, as well as blue cheese, among other products.

This cutting-edge technology will also be available to all of Saputo UK’s portfolio of brands. The company declined, however, to specify which brands, if any, had indicated plans to use the smokehouse. In a statement, Sandra Bell, marketing manager at The Wensleydale Creamery, described the new smoking installation as “a major milestone” for the group. She added: “This investment firmly cements our commitment to innovation in this area and by more than doubling our capacity allows us to further develop our expertise and grow.”

As well as cheeses, Saputo’s UK arm manufactures butters such as Clover, Country Life, Vitalite, Willow, and Utterly Butterly, as well as the Frylight frying oils range. In November, the company set out plans to close a dairy facility in the UK, putting more than 150 jobs on the line. Saputo has been consolidating operations elsewhere, namely in Australia and the US, as part of an exercise to cut costs. Earlier this month, the group booked a loss in its third quarter following an impairment charge related to the Canadian giant’s Australia dairy division. Saputo has been “optimizing” its manufacturing network, with the number of plants reduced from 11 to six in Australia.

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