Mona Dairy

Source: Mona Island Dairy

The business had warned last month that it could no longer trade, citing a lack of investment

Struggling Anglesey-based cheese facility Mona Island Dairy has been placed into administration by its owners – a fortnight after they warned the business had run out of cash.

Anthony Collier and Phil Reynolds of specialist business advisory firm FRP were appointed as joint administrators of the business on Friday (7 June). Some 24 employees out of a total of 50 had already been made redundant, they confirmed.

Mona Dairy opened in 2023 and was touted as one of Europe’s most sustainable cheese plants.

It sourced milk from 31 farms across the north of Wales, specialising in the production of cheddar and continental cheeses such as gouda. Cheshire-based processor Meadow picked up Mona Dairy’s milk supply last month as part of an interim agreement.

Led by co-founder and chair David Wynne-Finch – a local dairy farmer, alongside CEO and dairy industry veteran Ronald Akkerman, the plant aimed to crack the export market, while also serving the UK supermarket and foodservice own-label cheese category.

Mona Dairy also had plans to develop branded cheeses.

But as The Grocer reported at the end of May, a series of operational challenges – including delays in securing BRCGS certification – coupled with a failure to attract new investment, meant the business did not have enough funding to continue as a going concern.

By 2024 a total of £40m (including £3m from the Welsh government) had been spent on the construction and operation of the 5,000 sq ft factory, with £10m required this year but no longer forthcoming.

Akkerman conceded last month that the management team had “tried our hardest to deliver the best and most modern, environmentally sustainable cheese processing plant for our farmers and for Wales”.

They were “devastated we could not get it over the line. We were so close,” he added. “But close has not been enough.”

Administrator Anthony Collier said FRP was now “focused on finding a solution for the business and invite any interested parties to come forward”.

Mona Island Dairy had a “compelling proposition with its modern, sustainable facilities”, he added. “Unfortunately, it’s not been able to raise the funding needed to continue operating and so sadly 24 employees have been made redundant and we are helping them to access support from the Redundancy Payments Service.”