29 Kintyre farmers have launched a crowdfunding campaign to save Campbeltown Creamery and the Mull of Kintyre cheddar brand.
Kintyre farmers have surpassed their initial target to raise £50,000 to save Campbeltown Creamery, the home of Mull of Kintyre cheddar.
The farmers were looking to raise £50,000 towards saving the creamery, which First Milk announced plans to sell back in 2018.
29 local dairy farmers, the Mull of Kintyre Milk Supply Cooperative, launched a crowdfunding campaign and in less than 72 hours, they had already surpassed their target.
As a result, they have stretched their campaign to a target of £80000 to ’further help us fund this process’.
Campbeltown Creamery has been producing cheese since 1923 and has been making Mull of Kintyre cheddar since the 1970s.
The dairy farming sector in the Kintyre Peninsula and nearby Gigha contributes £3.2m per annum to the local economy. In turn, when additional, upstream, impacts are considered, a further £2.55m is added.
The dairy sector in the area provides 117 jobs directly on-farm and a further 49 indirectly across Kintyre.
The farmers said it had been 'the most incredible week' and they had been overwhelmed by the amount of public support.
"We cannot thank any of our supporters enough for their generosity thus far and hopefully the success of this campaign and the amazing comments on it will help to encourage funders and retailers alike to align themselves with this unique, award winning product," the group said.
Launching the campaign, local dairy farmer, Thomas Cameron, said: “We are currently facing a huge and exciting opportunity with a clear mission – to secure the future of the Campbeltown Creamery for the benefit of the Kintyre community.
“We will also be in a position to save a well-known brand and contribute to Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.
“Mull of Kintyre cheddar is said to be enhanced by the Angel’s Share of whisky that remains in the creamery building from its past life as a distillery.
“The multi award-winning cheese is made with milk that all comes from within a 15-mile radius and from farms that are committed to securing their land for future generations and to contributing to the local economy.
“Dairy farms in the area need the creamery in order to thrive and the creamery needs us.
“Given the challenges of sustaining a vibrant economy in this remote part of Scotland, the role of the dairy sector in Kintyre is fundamental to its success.”
He added its taste and provenance were sought after by buyers across the UK, including Tesco and Sainsbury's.
“Our farmers are young, enthusiastic, committed to sustainability, investment and the next generation and have strong integrity – they are just the right group of people to secure this deal.”
NFU Scotland Milk Committee chairman John Smith, one of 29 producers suppling milk to the Campbeltown creamery said it was a 'bold and inspiring' bid.
“These hard working family farms have built their businesses with a view to continuing to milk cows; building and promoting the Mull of Kintyre brand locally and nationally and are looking positively to the future.
“Dairy farmers in Kintyre have a fantastic story to tell, producing high quality grass-fed milk in a beautiful part of the country.
“Funders will take the Mull of Kintyre brand to the next level by getting behind a cheese that has real provenance.”