The Somerset farm showing the importance of good culture

Mole Valley Farmers is delighted to announce a stellar year for our cheese supplier Barber’s after scooping a host of international awards.

The company is the sole guardian of the country’s last remaining, 200 year old, authentic cheese starter cultures - refined over generations, protected in a special laboratory.

And the cultures helped the Barber’s team sweep the 2021 board winning a total of two trophies, 11 gold, 10 silver and 11 bronze awards at the South West, International, World and Global Cheese Awards. But what’s the history of this world famous company?

The Barber family started farming in Somerset in 1712 between the medieval town of Glastonbury and the rolling Mendip Hills, where the ancient settlement of Cheddar became synonymous with great cheese. From Maryland Farm in Ditcheat, the seventh generation of the Barber family look back on nearly two centuries of cheese making – starting with Daniel Barber in 1833 and his cheddar from the milk of grass fed cows. The company supplies cheese around the world but still uses its own herd, plus milk from 150 local Somerset and Dorset dairy farms within a 35-mile radius. Farms the 200 staff know and trust.

Barber’s cows are still fed on rich grass for an average of 220 days a year. In the winter they eat only home-grown forages, creating the distinctive flavours so characteristic of its cheeses. The company also works hard to be sustainable and has been custodian of the wildlife and habitat under its stewardship in the Ditcheat Vale for centuries.

Head of Sales, Simon O’Brien, said: “Throughout the Barber’s Creamery we continually seek strategies to reduce our environmental impact with zero waste policies essential to site operations.

“Every component part of the milk is utilised, with the whey used for high protein powder that’s exported across the world. Whey cream is churned into Maryland Butter.

The lactose sugar is used for livestock feed. “Even the water reclaimed from the cheese making process is cleaned and buffered by our own natural membrane filtration system and used to clean the dairy, before being filtered and purified in our own water treatment facility.”

Look out for Barber’s cheese range in store, including several festive products like its distinctive cheese truckles, matured for at least 12 months.

Mr O’Brien added: “Barber’s Cheesemakers is proud to supply Mole Valley Farmers. We have the same values at heart and we are delighted by our ongoing trading relationship of many years standing.”

See our great food range at your local store. Don’t forget we also have a Call & Collect service. Simply call 01769 576415 to place your order.