Northumberland cheese proves a hit with MPs

A Northumberland cheese has proved a hit in Westminster.

Sunday, 28th January 2018, 10:02 am
Neill Maxwell with his cheese at the Westminster event.

An unpasteurised smoked cheese made by Doddington Dairy was one of eight regional cheeses enjoyed by MPs at a special tasting event organised in the House of Commons by the NFU and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Beer.

Doddington Dairy’s Smoked Cuddy’s Cave cheese represented the North East and was paired with a complimentary British beer, London Porter – Anspach and Hobday Apricot Saison.

The event, which attracted more than 60 MPs and Peers, was designed to highlight the wealth and diversity of British food and drink, the close links between farmers and food producers, and the economic value of the wider agri-food sector to the economy.

Neill Maxwell, of Doddington Dairy, said: “The event was extremely popular and all of the MPs I met appreciated not only the fantastic paring of our cheese with the Anspach and Hobday brew, but also the passion and care that goes into making a handmade, artisan product.

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“With all the uncertainties of Brexit ahead, it is really important that we value and support our local producers, and I was glad to be able to take that message to the heart of Westminster.”

NFU vice president Guy Smith said: “Beer and cheese provide vitally important markets for British dairy and arable farmers. Two million tonnes of British malting barley is grown every year, while around 25 per cent to 30 cent of the milk produced by dairy farmers is processed into cheese.

“We want MPs to understand the significance of both supply chains to the UK economy and to support British farmers and brewers so they can remain competitive and sustainable.”

“And of course, one of the best ways to discuss this is over a pint of British beer.”

The UK produces more than 700 cheeses – that’s more than in France. The total value of cheese sold in the UK in 2016 was £2.75billion, with cheese consumed in 95 per cent of households.

Meanwhile, 10,000 different beers are produced using British malting barley, with the beer and pub industries generating £13billion in tax revenue every year.