Adams Foods has insisted its new partnership with First Milk will not lead it to buy less Irish Cheddar.

Adams is owned by the Irish Dairy Board, and the deal commits it to buy at least 50,000 tonnes of First Milk’s UK-produced cheese a year. This had sparked concerns among Irish farmers that Adams would, in turn, reduce the volumes of Irish cheese it handles.

However, the company this week insisted this would not be the case. “It will not impact adversely the amount of Irish cheese we buy,” a spokesman said.

He added news of the First Milk partnership had gone down well with “key stakeholders, customers and opinion formers” at Adams.

“This reflects the fact that the partnership will reinforce Adams Foods’ position as one of the leading suppliers of both British and Irish cheese in the UK,” he said.

As The Grocer reported last week, Adams chief executive Ian Toal said the company would always have “an Irish agenda” but needed to secure a sustainable supply of British Cheddar to stay relevant to UK retailers, which were increasingly committing to UK sourcing on key cheese lines.