UK – Leeds-based Northern Bloc, the natural ice cream company, has received a £1.2million (US$1.22M) investment to double its ice cream production capacity.

The investment which is from Gresham House Ventures will also be used to support Northern Bloc’s aim to become the UK’s number one plant-based ice cream brand. 

The company has already signed the lease on a new 18,000 sq ft site in the heart of Leeds city and will convert the existing facilities into a purpose-built ice creamery, which will start production immediately.

By the end of the summer, the company said it will fully relocate the expanded production facility and office-based sales and marketing team to the former Bagel Nash production site on North Street in Leeds.

The expansion investment is the second round of investment the company has secured, with the first round in January 2021 allowing the business to expand its team and production capacity. 

Co-founder and director at Northern Bloc, Josh Lee, said: “In 2021, Northern Bloc experienced 80% growth in turnover as out-of-home accounts started to come back from the pandemic in a strong position.”

Our first round of investment enabled us to be able to quickly and effectively fulfill this demand and we’re excited to see what the next year brings, on the back of this second investment.”

Whilst the business’ growth is primarily from its plant-based range, the business said it also continues to produce dairy products.

Northern Bloc has recently added a premium, soft serve plant-based ice cream to its out-of-home range, known as THE WHiP!.

UK inks raw cheese exports deal to Australia

Meanwhile, the UK government has signed a deal to allow a dozen British raw milk cheeses to be exported to Australia.

The UK said the deal is not part of the larger UK-Australia trade deal but currently covers 12 kinds of cheese.

The list includes iconic Red Leicester, Gloucester, and cheddar artisan cheeses with a long track record for safety in the UK, made by dairy farmers themselves.

The deal is also open to other producers who can as apply to be part of the trade through the Department for International Trade.

Up until now, Australia had only allowed two types of raw milk cheese to be imported, and both are from France.

The cheese trade deal of the UK is staged to help Britain’s agriculture markets transition.

The trade deal comes after an announcement in 2021, that the UK government inked a principle to a new trade deal with New Zealand, paving the way for the UK to join the CPTPP – a collaborative trading block of 11 Pacific nations.

The nations include New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Japan, worth around £8.4 trillion (US$11.6Tn) in 2020 trading.

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