Although times have moved on since the humble beginnings of our cheese back in 1946, Orkney Cheddar remains almost wholly owned by the farmers of Orkney, 26 of whom set up a co-operative in 2000 to take over full production of The Orkney Creamery.
20 of those farmers still oversee the creamery and the entire process today - from the rearing of the dairy cows right through to the final product… the famous Orkney Cheddar. They then hand over to a UK distributor who ensures it reaches your local supermarket in the same condition it left their hands.
Orcadians are a special breed, holding both Scottish and Norse heritage, and both cultures have combined to create the work ethic demonstrated by these farmers. Famed for their creative nature and devotion to the crafts, our farmers are vastly experienced and rear their cattle expertly and with loving care.
Their devotion to their cows and to producing the distinctive taste of Orkney Cheddar is epitomised by the Creamery's Chairman, Marcus Wood. Despite holding this lofty position, he himself is a dairy farmer by trade and when he's not acting as spokesperson for the Cheese, he's out milking his 250 cows on the family farm that overlooks Scapa Flow.
To ensure as much care goes into the production process, as went into raising the cows, the farmers hired a leading engineer, Tim Deakin, to oversee the final steps. He uses his vast experience to balance state of the art production methods with the fine touches of the cheesemaker. Even today, the salting of the curd is done painstaking by hand; a process that is akin to the careful sewing of seed that early crofters would have done on the Island's fields. It's only through years of experience that the cheese maker learns to monitor the consistency and acidity in the process. It's this experience that delivers the exact texture and flavour epitomised by Orkney Cheddar.
And it's our team's devotion, our unique Orcadian personality and the expertise passed down through generations of Orcadian dairy farmers that create the special, home-crafted nature of Orkney Cheddar.
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