Mid and West Wales AM Joyce Watson has been on a fact-finding mission at First Milk's award-winning Haverfordwest creamery.
In her capacity as Labour spokesperson for Rural Affairs, Mrs Watson has a long-standing keen interest in the success of the creamery, which which recently installed new whey processing equipment, part-funded by a £1.2m grant from the Welsh Assembly Government. The creamery receives milk from 300 First Milk Welsh dairy farmers, all located within a 35 mile radius of the Merlin's Bridge site.
Paul Rowe, general manager at Haverfordwest, gave Mrs Watson a tour of the creamery before she sampled some of the award-winning cheese.
"The creamery plays an important role in the rural economy of west Wales and we are delighted to welcome politicians to the site to further their understanding of our business and our links within the community," he said.
Mrs Watson said: "I would like to thank Paul and all the staff at the creamery for taking the time-out to show me around the site.
"Milk has been processed here at Merlin's Bridge since the1930s so it's fantastic to see First Milk – the largest farmer-owned dairy business in the UK – investing in its operation here in west Wales.
"Pembrokeshire Cheese is a real local success story and with the awards flooding in, I'm sure the business will continue to go from strength to strength," she added.
The creamery, which is home to The Pembrokeshire Cheese Company range of cheddars, has enjoyed a successful awards year, scooping an impressive 59 titles across the 2008 agricultural shows. The site also won The Grocer magazine's prestigious Own Label Excellence Award in the traditional cheese category, earlier this year.
There may also be further success this week for the creamery as it is a finalist in The True Taste of Wales Awards, which will be announced on Thursday (6th November).
Haverfordwest is also shortlisted for The Food Manufacturer Excellence Awards later this month.
For further information, please contact Jill Coyle, communications manager on 0141 847 6884.