ASDA Backs First Milk To Deliver Regional Cheeses

First Milk has reached an agreement with ASDA to supply the retailer with regional cheese from its creameries in Cumbria, west Wales and Scotland.

The deal is part of a renewal of the contract to supply all of ASDA's own label cheese, which First Milk inherited when it acquired part of Dairy Crest's cheese business last year. This new arrangement extends the contract for a minimum of 18 months.

In line with ASDA's commitment to supporting British farmers and providing its customers with products of guaranteed provenance, the cheeses will feature not only their region of origin Cumbria, west Wales or Argyll but also the name of the creamery at which they are produced Aspatria, Haverfordwest and Campbeltown.

In addition, the First Milk Cheese Company will work with ASDA on a number of new product development initiatives, the development of promotional plans, and in-store communication.

Chris Brown, ASDA's head of ethical and sustainable sourcing says: As a business that is owned by dairy farmers, First Milk is ideally placed to help us achieve our aims of providing our customers with more and better local produce. Through their creameries in England, Scotland and Wales we are able to provide a range of high quality cheddars with distinctive origins.

Jeff Halliwell, managing director of the First Milk Cheese Company says: This is the biggest of our 'inherited' contracts, so it is very important to us that it has been renewed. What is particularly exciting is ASDA's recognition of the importance of provenance to consumers and the opportunity we have to work with them not only on developing this aspect of their cheese offering, but also in a category management capacity on a whole range of new innovations.