New dairy brands come to market

16 June 2017

Two new exciting Welsh dairy brands will be launching at Aberystwyth Farmers Market this Saturday (June 17th).


Making their first foray into the market place with their new branding will be ewe’s milk cheese producer Defaid Dolwerdd, who have a new Halloumi-style cheese, and raw milk producer Penlan y Môr.


Both producers have been helped in their ventures by Cywain – a project which supports the development of new markets in the agri-food sector.


Says Cywain Development Manager, Nia Môn, "We're so pleased that local producers are adding value through an alternative route to market for their produce.  Aberystwyth Farmers Market is a great platform for them to introduce these products to a new market and local customer base as a first step towards growth for these businesses."



Ewe’s milk cheese producers, Defaid Dolwerdd, will be bringing a flavour of the Mediterranean to Aberystwyth Farmers’ Market with the launch of their new Halloumi -style cheese.


Nick and Wendy Holtham keep a flock of 120 Friesland milking ewes at their farm near Crymych in Pembrokeshire.


The couple started making ewe’s milk cheese, yogurt, and ice cream on a small scale 15 years ago, but when Nick retired in 2013 they decided to step up production and extended their dairy and added a new parlour.


While the “Halwmi” will be Defaid Dolwerdd’s first own-made cheese, they have already tasted considerable success with their milk being used by multi award-winning cheese-maker Caws Cenarth*.


Originating in Cyprus, Halloumi is a semi-hard brined cheese with a texture similar to mozzarella and is often used in cooking, its higher than normal melting point making it particularly suited to grilling and frying.


Nick and Wendy have developed and make their “Halwmi” – which comes in three varieties – natural, mint, and chilli - at the Food Centre Wales supported under Project Helix, where they are also in the process of producing a hard ewe’s milk cheese to add to their new brand.


Say Nick and Wendy, “Cywain have been helping us with our marketing and labelling. The assistance they’ve given us has been great, actually I’m not sure we would have been able to carry it out on this scale without the support we have had from them.”


The Holthams are very proud of the flock, which they have built up over the years, and when ewes become too old to milk they are kept for their fleece which Wendy spins and dyes to produce yarn for socks and gloves which are also sold at local markets.




*Using milk from the Holtham’s flock Caws Cenarth make Dolwen (a brie-type cheese), Dol-las (a creamy blue cheese), Freni (a gentle cheese) and also Beca – a hard cheese which won the Supreme Champion Cheese at last year’s Royal Welsh Show.




A glass of Penlan y Môr raw milk is the taste of the stunning Cardigan Bay farm where the Jones’ cattle graze over looking the sea.


With the launch of his dairy brand Carwyn Jones hopes more people will enjoy the delights and benefits of raw milk, and appreciate the environment in which it is produced.


Carwyn is one of the third generation to farm at Penlan y Môr. Together, the family look after a 220 strong milking herd comprising mainly Friesian cattle. “Variety is good in dairying so we cross the cows with renowned coloured breeds which help improve the quality of the milk. We also have a small flock of sheep to graze board!”


“We’ve been brought up on raw milk all our lives,” says Carwyn, “it is a far fuller milk with a naturally sweeter taste. It is the whole product with nothing taken out of it. It comes straight from the cow into the bottle completely natural, unprocessed and pure only changing with the seasons and environment in which it is produced.”


Raw milk is milk that has not been pasturised, and its production is monitired by the Food Standards Agency*. In recent years there has been increased consumer interest in raw milk, and Penlan y Môr is one of a handfull of registered producers in Wales.


The environmnetal aspect is at the forefront of the brand, with the milk sold in traditional glass bottles. “There is no waste, people pay a deposit for their first bottle and then next time, on return of the bottle, just pay for the milk. I also think it tastes much better in glass.”


Carwyn has been trialling his milk locally and from the farm gate, and the feedback has been very positive with “people coming back for more”, leading him to launch the Penlan y Môr brand at Aberystwyth Farmers Market on the 17th of June.


The distinct Penlan y Môr brand has been created, and Cywain have been a sounding board for Carwyn, guiding him on his journey and are glad to give him the opportunity to expand his market to Aberystwyth.


He says, “As a small business you’re so stretched doing what you’re doing that you don’t always see the bigger picture. Cywain really helped us focus our minds, helped us get our heads down and gave us ideas and encouragement.”


There are hopes to expand the market for the milk and to consider different dairy opportunities in the near future.


“I encourage people to visit the farm to sample and buy the milk. Seeing the cows, what they get up to and where, is all part of getting the full picture about how we produce our milk. Our customers see that they’re not just buying milk but also investing in the local environment and welfare of the animals.


“Launching at Aberystwyth will give people from further afield who can’t cross our green pastures to the yard, the chance to buy fresh, natural, free range and local raw milk.  For a clearer insight, pictures of the ladies and to see what It’s all about, visit our facebook page @penlanymor.”


*The sale of raw milk is regulated by the FSA, more details available here


Photo 1 & 2 - photocredit:

Photo 3 - Carwyn Jones with his herd

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