Meet Sam Wilkin, Head Cheesemonger at The Cheese Bar, London and cheese champion via his @cellarmansam alter ego. At the start of the COVID shutdown, Matthew Carver (CEO of The Cheese Bar) learnt that its impact on small dairy farms across the UK was massive - and mostly unreported. As small batch producers cut back or stopped production altogether and whole industries closed down (restaurants, bars, hotels, airlines) over 500,000 litres of milk was being poured down the drain every week by small family farms. Matthew was determined to try and save them and the organisations who provide a lifeline to people needing food and support, and assisted by Sam and the team, set up the the Got Milk Fund. Its purpose - to create a bridge between two major food issues facing the UK, the increase in usage of food banks and community kitchens and the surplus of a quality product that was simply being binned. The scheme aims to offer producers a fair market price and in turn support non-profit organisations, charities and food banks across the UK. You can find out more about how the work is continuing and how you can help support the Got Milk Fund here. https://gotmilkfund.bigcartel.com/what-is-the-got-milk-fund
Not content with managing a central London Cheese bar and helping to drive a campaign to save UK dairy farmers, Sam also interviews a diverse range of people involved in every aspect of small batch food production, from sustainability to regenerative farming and food wealth. Designed to raise, discuss and profile key issues as well as introduce you to some of the amazing small batch producers we have in the UK, his interviews are available as podcasts. Finally (phew!) he also finds time to advocate small-batch cheese-makers through a rather funky range of t-shirts, of which 25% of sales go directly to the Got Milk Fund. You can listen to his podcasts, choose a t-shirt perfect for that cheese lover in your life and help support a good cause - check out his
or follow him on Instagram at
Project name: New Cheddar
The aim of this project has been to start cheddar production at Trethowan's Dairy. The funding has supported the purchase of all new equipment required to produce cheddar, as well the design and build of a chilled cheddar store adjacent to the current dairy. It is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.