Omsco organic cheese US

Source: Omsco 

The Somerset-headquartered organic co-op said it was ‘confident’ of success across the pond

West Country-based Omsco has made its British Organic Dairy Company cheddar brand available in the US.

The organic dairy co-op’s cheese range is to go on sale in more than 2,400 stores across the US, via a deal with New York-based distributor Trugman-Bash. Omsco head of business development Peter Andrew said he was “confident” sales in the US would now “go from strength to strength” on the back of a “really positive” reaction among American shoppers to the “great tasting” and “traditionally made” cheddar.

Omsco, which was founded in 1994 as the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative, said the BODC range – which is made by its partner Wyke Farms – offered buyers the choice of “a rich yet smooth and buttery Mature Cheddar, a bold and distinctive 12 month-aged Extra Mature Cheddar and a quintessential, complex and robust Vintage Cheddar”.

The supplier said the deal came after it teamed up with Trugman-Nash – a leading importer of Australian cheeses into the US – to promote the cheddars at several US food fairs earlier this year, where Omsco flew the flag for British dairy in the presence of over 30 North American grocery chain representatives. 

US government data show the UK as the US’s ninth-biggest source of processed dairy imports last year, outranking exporting powerhouses such as Denmark and New Zealand but lagging far behind Italy, Ireland and France – the three biggest exporters of processed dairy to the US, which has rebuffed UK government requests to start free trade deal negotations.

After almost three decades of focusing on exports, including selling its Kingdom Organic aged cheddar in the US for the past seven years, Omsco last month offered for the first time an organic cheese range aimed at the home market, putting its Grass Roots Dairy Co on shelves in British cheesemongers, delis and farm shops, as well as in some wholesalers and independent retailers. 

Omsco cheddars, including the BODC range, are made by Wyke using milk produced organically and in line with requirements set out by UK Soil Association and the US Department of Agriculture. Wyke Farms sells cheese and butter in about 160 countries and is based around 30 miles from Omsco in England’s cheddar-producing heartland of Somerset.

Also based nearby is Somerdale International, another cheddar-exporting dynamo, which last year reported bumper sales in the US and record overall global growth measures year on year.