Tuxford and Tebbutt Stilton creamery to close

A creamery that has been producing Stilton since 1780 is due to close its doors with the loss of 60 jobs. Tuxford and Tebbutt in Melton Mowbray, UK is owned by the multinational farmer co-operative Arla, which has been trying to sell the creamery as an ongoing concern, BBC Farming Today reports. It blamed the closure on what it says is a decline in the speciality cheese market with its featured cheese Stilton.  

Dairy industry analyst Chris Walkland explained what’s happened to the BBC. “It’s very small compared to modern factories and doesn’t have the economies of scale the newer plants have. It’s very indicative of what’s happened in the larger market. 

“Stilton has always been an elite, seasonal product, and the cost of living crisis has come along with Stilton and elite cheeses falling into the discretional spend category.” 

He further says, “Not only that, but a lot of Stilton is also exported, and then we come into the realm of macropolitics, and Brexit, and trade barriers, and veterinary certificates – the cost of exports have simply soared. That’ll be another reason why sales of Stilton have been challenged.” Another factor is that a lot of other different blue cheeses have sprung up, and that has eaten into Stilton’s sales. 

Stilton is only made in the three counties – Derbyshire, Nottinghamshite and Leicestershire – because it’s a PDO product and made by only six creameries. Arla is a big pan European company and have invested a lot in the UK, he further notes. “This investment in a niche factory that produces a niche, seasonal doesn’t fit with their overall strategy.” 

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