Wyke Farms appoints new technical director and relaunches premium butters


Wyke Farms, the UK’s largest independent cheese producers and producers of renewable energy, has announced the appointment of Diane Cox as official technical director in charge of Cheese and Butter Grading. The company is also relaunching its range of premium butters.

After grading approximately 520 million packs of cheese and butter in his lifetime, Nigel “the Nose” Pooley is announcing his (and his £5m nose) retirement and is handing the cheese iron over to Cox. Famed for his valuable assets in 2009 when his nose was estimated to be worth £5 million to the company, by way of insurance, Nigel has been training Diane for over 10 years in order that she can replace him.

Cox: new role

Cox: new role

From a Somerset pre-school farm girl to a successful female cheese grader, Cox will step into the role as official Wyke Farms cheese grader starting immediately.  Her responsibilities include selecting the Wyke Farms cheese and butter only when it has matured to perfection making sure the flavor is consistent throughout the 15,000 tonnes produced every year. Cox will report direct to Rich Clothier, third generation family member and managing director.

Cox brings with her a wealth of experience from her past ten years at Wyke Farms, working her way up from site technical manager to group technical manager, where she worked directly with Pooley and Tom Clothier, grading and selecting cheese for all customers. Before that she worked for 20 years in technical, production and planning roles with butters, cultured products and skimmed milk.

“This is a big transition for Wyke Farms. Replacing Nigel is no easy task,” said Rich Clothier. “Diane’s background is a great fit for this role and I have no doubt she will continue to make sure our cheese and butters are of the consistent high quality our consumers demand.  She has been part of the family for some time now, we are delighted with her promotion.”

With immediate effect, the Wyke Farms Salted and Unsalted Farmhouse Butter in 250 grams, as well as the individual size 7gram portions will all be presented in newly designed packaging.

The rebrand is part of Wyke Farms’ ambition to position itself as one of the largest premium dairy brands by highlighting their unique provenance, quality and green credentials. The new packs feature scatter print illustrations from the family archives subtly sitting in the background behind the brands core messaging, the Wyke Farms 100% Green logo and the Red Tractor stamp of assurance. The design uses imagery to communicate Wyke Farms’ unique family and farming heritage and communicates how their butter has been crafted over generations of the Clothier family in the heart of Somerset.  The images include heritage illustrations of Prince the farm horse, Somerset compass and the iconic oak tree that sits on top the hill outside the dairy at Wyke Champflower.

Wyke Farms said it was proud to present the luxurious look and feel of the newly branded packaging, which now works in harmony with the multi-award winning Farmhouse Butter made from sweet and whey cream offering inside. The company will be working with high profile food bloggers and journalists later this year to generate free creative recipe content for the consumer.

“The butter and spreads category provides an area of growth for us,” said Rich Clothier. “There is a trend towards shoppers are opting for products offering unadulterated, natural and sustainable USP’s. We are confident that our new packaging will communicate our unique offering in the fixture, helping the shopper to make informed choices.”