Stilton cheese

Hartington plans to start making Stilton from 2014

The exclusive club of the UK’s Stilton makers has opened its doors to a new member for the first time in eight years, with Hartington Creamery becoming only the seventh supplier to be approved.

Hartington, based in Derbyshire, cleared a fourth and final third-party inspection on behalf of the Stilton Cheesemakers’ Association earlier this month. Once it has signed a licensing agreement and paid a licence fee, it will be free to use the terms Blue Stilton and White Stilton to sell its cheeses. It plans to do so as of next year.  

Its approval marks the return of Stilton production to Derbyshire after the original Hartington Creamery was closed by Long Clawson in 2009.

“We will be the newest and smallest Stilton producer and the only one in Derbyshire, which gives us a special USP,” said a spokeswoman. “Our aim is to produce a top-tier product.”

White Stilton and Blue Stilton were awarded protected food status by the EU in 1996, restricting their production to Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire according to specific production criteria and subject to independent inspections.

Hartington Creamery has been producing cheese for just one year, and currently sells Stilton-style cheeses under the names Peakland White and Peakland Blue to local retailers and restaurants.

It will be the first new entrant to the Stilton market since Quenby Hall dairy launched in 2005. Quenby subsequently went into administration in 2011.