North Yorkshire based Shepherds Purse Cheeses are set to launch a new format of their feta-style cheese in a bid to help to support their sheep milk producers.
The new product called “Fettle”, will be available in 150g square blocks and launch on May 4th just in time for the British Cheese Weekender which starts on 8th May.
At the start of the coronavirus crisis, Shepherds Purse made contact with their sheep milk farmers who had been disproportionately affected by the closure of foodservice and restaurants and had lost 20 out of their 22 processors over the course of a few days.
To help sustain their businesses, Shepherds Purse decided to increase the amount of milk ordered each week by 75% to try to help with the deficit and made the decision to bring forward the launch of their new format Fettle as a result.
Caroline Bell, MD of Shepherds Purse said: “From the beginning of the crisis, we have been acutely aware of our place in the food chain and our responsibility to support both our suppliers and customers who rely on us as much as we rely on them.
“Every change in the supply chain has significant knock-on effects. We’re working hard for our cow and water buffalo milk suppliers too but with this project we can specifically help to counter the market distress for our sheep milk producers, but will need the support of both our retailers and customers to ensure it’s a success.”
Caroline continued: “It has taken a tremendous amount of work from our small team and our key partners to get this product ready for market so quickly. From making the extra cheese to designing and printing the labels, the packaging and extra design work for the campaign, it’s been incredible, I couldn’t be prouder of our team and our partners.”
Simon Stott of Sheep Milk UK said: “Any help we can get at the moment is vital and this new Fettle product is a big lifeline for us. Some of our farmers have already had to dry off due to the massive drop in demand, so the future of the British Sheep milk industry is still far from secure.”
The new cheese will be available to buy online at www.shepherdspurse.co.uk and at retailers throughout the country soon.