Lactalis McLelland is hoping that its range of specialist Cheddars will become grands fromages across the Channel, after clinching a deal to supply independent cheese shops across France.

MD Andy Smith hailed it as great news for Scottish farmers and the Scottish cheese industry alike.

The news comes on the back of a rebranding exercise that saw the company overhaul the packaging of its four Islands cheeses: Orkney, Mull of Kintyre, Arran and Isle of Bute.

Produced by the Orkney Cheese Company and The Island Cheese Company, the new look line features bolder colours, luxury packaging and historic pictures for each Cheddar's origination, enabling consumers to buy into the history of the cheese.

The new packs are also in UK stores, except for the Orkney cheese, which will be available from August.

Lactalis is still on track to set up a joint venture with Nestlé. An EU official had said the deal was off, but the EC said this was a mistake.