Errington Cheese is offering members of the public the chance to visit its farm this weekend, as the business increases output after winning a lengthy legal battle with South Lanarkshire Council.
The Carnwath, South Lanarkshire based cheese producer is opening-up its production facilities to mark the Great British Cheese Day (Sunday 21 October), showcasing an extensive product range and providing opportunities to taste the first batch of Dunsyre Blue made with raw organic milk sourced from its new East Ayrshire sustainable supplier, Mossgiel Farm.
The event will include a tour of both the Corra Linn Maturing Room and the working farm, home to 400 Lacaune sheep. Visitors can watch live demonstrations of the Dunsyre Blue creation process and there will also be a chance to sample each of the award-winning cheeses.
The company’s outlook remains positive as it concentrates on increasing stock by ramping up production. It is attempting to reclaim legal fees of around £350,000 from South Lanarkshire Council and is also in the process of agreeing compensation with the local authority for £260,000 worth of cheese seized that is no longer marketable - with the aim of reemploying staff.
Following the Sherriff Courts’ judgement, the Council dropped its two summary applications in connection with the Dunsyre Blue made in 2016.
Selina Cairns, director at Errington Cheese, said: “It has undoubtedly been the most difficult period in the company’s 36-year history, enduring an expensive legal battle which could have led to our demise.
“The courts ultimately ruled in our favour but even though we were completely cleared of breaching food hygiene regulations, the issue is far from resolved. The knock-on effect on the operation has been extremely detrimental, faced with a drop in sales and the majority of cash reserves being ploughed into covering legal costs. We regrettably had to make staff redundant and are still fighting to reclaim fees from the local authority. This is essential if we are to reemploy our loyal workforce or get back to sustainable production and sales levels'
“Despite these challenges, the focus remains on what we do best, sustainably producing an enticing selection of high-quality artisan cheese. We’re really excited to begin working with the small family team at Mossgiel Farm, who provide the raw organic milk for the Dunsyre Blue.
“On Sunday we’ll open our doors to visitors for the first time, who will be able to learn about the different ways to make cheese while seeing what it takes to run an operation of this scale.”
Errington Farm and cheese rooms will be open to the public between 11am and 2pm on Sunday 21 October.
Tours of the cheese rooms will take place every half hour and farm walks will set off at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm.
For more information visit the company’s website.
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