UK – Mona Dairy, a Welsh cheese business, has issued a stark warning of its impending collapse unless it secures new financing or finds a new owner.

Co-owners Ronald Akkerman and David Wynne-Finch, who founded the company, expressed their distress after investing £20 million (US$25.4m) into a facility in Anglesey, Wales, in 2021.

Despite striving to develop one of Europe’s most modern and sustainable cheese factories, Mona Dairy has faced insurmountable challenges beyond its control.

The company’s inability to secure sufficient short-term funding from key stakeholders has led to the current crisis.

“We remain hopeful that we can secure a new outcome in the coming days and Mona Dairy will be able to continue its journey, even if that means it is under new ownership,” the company stated in a notice posted on its website.

The challenging financial landscape, exacerbated by historically high UK interest rates aimed at reining in inflation, has made investors and lenders cautious, particularly towards new businesses like Mona Dairy.

However, there is optimism that the financing environment may improve as borrowing costs potentially decrease with UK inflation seemingly under control.

In 2021, Mona Dairy made a significant investment in its Holyhead plant, with plans to produce own-label Welsh artisan cheeses, as well as cheddar, Gouda, and Edam for retail and food service customers.

The facility, powered by renewable energy and equipped to produce 30,000 tonnes of continental cheese annually, was intended to create 100 new jobs.

Despite the financial turmoil, Mona Dairy’s main priority remains securing a safe future for its 31 milk farmers and loyal staff. An interim buyer has been secured for milk supply, ensuring farmers will be paid for their milk under this arrangement.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has called on the Welsh government to assist in facilitating a positive outcome for Mona Dairy, recognizing the significant impact its closure would have on the local community.

Subscribe to our food and agriculture industry email newsletters that provide busy executives like you with the latest news insights and trends from Africa and the World. SUBSCRIBE HERE