Rising concerns over large cheese wholesalers and diminishing cheese prices
We are all aware of rising prices across food products across the UK as we fight the cost-of-living crisis.
It is apparent, however, that some large cheese wholesalers are trying to make as much money as possible, to the extent of leaving cheesemakers in an incredibly vulnerable position.
This month, No2 Pound Street gives you the low down on how cheese is sold and presented to guests in restaurants and similar establishments.
We also look at the rising greed of some cheese wholesalers and how this could affect cheese production if not resolved in the near future.
Are cheese wholesalers trying to pull the wool over your eyes?
As a reputable cheese wholesalers, these teams should be properly advising restaurants, hotels, and eateries about their cheese choices. Samples should be flooding in, and wholesalers should be meeting with their clients regularly on-site for tastings.
Discussions with restaurants, hotels and farm shops about cheese seasonality and provenance should be the norm, but unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the case.
Where is the communication between cheese wholesalers and their clients?
It appears that when large cheese wholesalers make a successful grab for new customers via their large and faceless sales teams, the communication drops off incredibly quickly.
Whilst there are some great cheese wholesalers on the market, they are now few and far between as their needs are purely based on making as much money as possible – whatever it takes.
I was recently in discussions with a huge and very well-known wholesaler. I was the agent connecting a fabulous producer of raw milk cheese to this giant London wholesaler and front-facing cheese shop.
The product I was recommending is sublime, and the work that goes into producing the cheese concerned is unending. It is a pity that the conversation with this particular global distributor of cheese was about getting the lowest price from the producer.
Reassuringly this cheesemaker, with my advice, dug his heels in and said no to dropping the price of his cheese by 10%.
The spiralling costs associated with cheese production are especially being felt by artisan makers at this time, and producers are being continually bullied to lower prices.
This is so that wholesaler giants and large online cheese shops can reap the dividends without getting their hands dirty.
Cheese wholesalers consultancy and a fabulous find
As a cheese expert and wholesaler, I recently did a spot of restaurant consultancy in the north at the newly refurbished Ye Horns Inn, based in Goosnargh. Lancashire.
Whilst there, I found an incredible cheeseboard offering, at the time offering Mrs Kirkham’s, St Jude, Stichelton – to name one of many! It’s well worth a visit if you are passing or able to take a slight detour.
We offer cheese consultancy to new customers and existing customers. This includes advice and guidance on various products and training courses for hotels and restaurant staff that are aimed to be insightful and supportive of this wonderful product.
It is imperative that staff handling and selling cheese to their clients have wonderful knowledge and experience to draw upon when discussing the delectable delights that feature on their cheeseboards.
As far as cheese is concerned, at No2 Pound Street, we readily accept the price from the producers for onward wholesale and shop sales.
We charge a fair price for the beautiful artisan cheeses that can be found in our Wendover-based store and through our cheese wholesale service.
Our aim is to be there for our customers and regularly check in with them, both on the phone and face to face, to ensure that they are happy with the products and the service they receive from our team.
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No2 Pound Street supports eateries in an ethical and sustainable way
As a result of consultations with great restaurants such as Ye Horns Inn with wholesalers like The Crafty Cheeseman & No2 Pound Street, we are beginning to see great eateries understanding how cheese should be served.
Importantly cheese wholesalers like No2 Pound Street offer honest training for those teams that are stages to showcase, in my opinion, the greatest food on the planet…. Cheese.
A cheese wholesaler we would like to shine the spotlight on is The Crafty Cheeseman. Jonathan, originally from Bushey, settled in Lancashire several years ago with his Northern Lass.
He is a wholesaler of cheese, but like us, he is unique. Johnathan is passionate and cares deeply about his products and the industry.
He will travel miles, as we do at No2 Pound Street, to find exceptional cheeses made by wonderful and caring people.
Whilst The Crafty Cheeseman is primarily a business, the foundations of his company are based on ethical and sustainable practices – just like those at No2.
His work ethic and care for the products he sells are completely ingrained, and his knowledge and passion are shared with all of his customers. Like No2, The Crafty Cheeseman quite simply is what he does.