Cheese production was badly hit by the cut back in milk production at the beginning of the year. Cheddar cheese was particularly affected, according to DEFRA figures, with output cut 10% in the first two months of the year.

Output of territorial cheeses was similarly affected with a 9% cutback over the two-month period.

Output of blue cheese, mainly Stilton, avoided the milk supply problems and 9% more milk was used.

Butter production, mainly
based on surplus cream from liquid milk production, continued to grow with a year-on-year expansion of 27% in January and a 45% growth in February.

Output of skim milk powder, however, fell back by 15% over the January to February period.