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Historic Tuxford and Tebbutt Stilton Creamery to Shut Down, Citing Market Decline

Source: The DairyNews
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The historic Tuxford and Tebbutt creamery in Melton Mowbray, UK, renowned for producing Stilton cheese since 1780, is set to close, resulting in the loss of 60 jobs. Owned by the multinational farmer cooperative Arla, efforts to sell the creamery as an ongoing concern have been unsuccessful, according to BBC Farming Today. Arla attributes the closure to a downturn in the specialty cheese market, particularly impacting its flagship Stilton cheese.
Historic Tuxford and Tebbutt Stilton Creamery to Shut Down, Citing Market Decline
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Dairy industry analyst Chris Walkland provided insights into the challenges facing the creamery. "Compared to modern factories, it’s very small and lacks the economies of scale that newer plants benefit from," Walkland told the BBC. He noted that the broader market dynamics reflect similar trends, where Stilton, a traditionally elite and seasonal product, has struggled under current economic pressures.

"The cost of living crisis has categorized Stilton and other elite cheeses as discretionary spending. Furthermore, significant export challenges due to Brexit-related trade barriers and increased costs have exacerbated the situation," Walkland explained. He also pointed out that the emergence of various other blue cheeses has intensified competition, further eroding Stilton's market share.

Stilton cheese, which holds a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, is exclusively produced in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and Leicestershire by only six creameries. Despite Arla's substantial investments in the UK dairy sector, Walkland remarked, "Investing in a niche, seasonal factory does not align with their broader strategic objectives." This closure marks a significant shift in the UK's specialty cheese industry, reflecting both local challenges and broader global market changes.
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