Five of Wales’ best known cheese producers have joined forces to highlight a west Wales valley as the hub of artisan Welsh cheese making.

Under the umbrella name Teifi Valley Cheese Producers, award-winning producers Carmarthenshire Cheese Company, Caws Cenarth, Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar, Sanclêr Organic, and Teifi Farmhouse Cheese, are planning to draw attention to the cheese producing attributes of the Teifi Valley area.

Each of the producers has reaped numerous awards at national and international level, including accolades at the International Cheese Awards, Great Taste Awards, and the Welsh food ‘Oscars’ the Wales the True Taste Food and Drink Awards.

“To have such a strong concentration of award-winning cheese makers in what is a relatively small area we thought was something which needed highlighting and celebrating,” says Sam Holden, of Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar.

“By forming Teifi Valley Cheese Producers we all retain our individual identities as cheese producers, but by coming together as a group we can better draw attention to cheese making excellence in the Teifi Valley area. French wine producers have the Loire Valley, and we as cheese makers have the Teifi Valley!”

Carwyn Adams, of Caws Cenarth, has been involved in cheese making all his life, and believes there is something special about the Teifi Valley.

“The Teifi Valley is a wonderful area to live in, the mild climate producing the ideal conditions for the abundance of grass grown,” he said.

“It’s no wonder there are so many cheese makers in the area.”

By forming the group, the producers hope it will help attract more visitors to the Teifi Valley area, as well as increase sales of Welsh cheese.

“We want to help spread the word about artisan Welsh cheese making and encourage people to come and try some for themselves,” says Elfyn Davies, of Sanclêr Organic.

“Wales already has a reputation for cheese producing excellence,” added John Savage-Onstwedder, of Teifi Farmhouse Cheese.

“Year-on-year, Welsh cheeses continue to perform and delight at the highest levels in the cheese making world. In regional, national and international competitions Welsh cheeses are consistently among the trophy winners.”

The project has received funding through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the Welsh Assembly and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Steve Peace, of the Carmarthenshire Cheese Company, said: “We have had tremendous support from a number of organisations including Ceredigion County Council which sponsored the project, the team at the Food Centre Wales at Horeb, Menter a Busnes, and Cywain.”

The Teifi Valley Cheese Producers was officially launched at the Great British Cheese Festival in Cardiff, along with a 28-page bilingual brochure.

For more information, log on to www.teifivalleycheese