Wales’ oldest dairy farming co-operative has secured a deal to supply Welsh cheddar to Marks and Spencer.

The retailer is now stocking Dragon brand Vintage Welsh Cheddar and Mature Welsh Cheddar, made by South Caernarfon Creameries, in 24 of its stores across Wales.

The cheeses are made using 100 per cent Welsh milk from dairy herds at the co-operative’s 130 member farms across north and mid Wales.

It will put local produce made and packaged at South Caernarfon Creameries’ base in Chwilog on the Llyn Peninsula, on the tables of thousands more customers.

Alan Wyn Jones, MD at South Caernarfon Creameries, said: “We are delighted M&S has asked us to supply our Welsh cheddars for their stores across Wales.

“M&S is a high street retail institution and we are delighted to be part of their drive to put more local produce on their food shelves.

“It’s a major boost to our farmers and the wider community to know that milk from our Welsh cows is on the shelves of such a prestigious UK retailer.

“These are exciting times for South Caernarfon Creameries as we continue to expand into new markets with an increased product range, taking Welsh produce to even more customers.”

This summer South Caernarfon Creameries showcased Wales’s first Sea Salt Cheddar, developed in collaboration with Halen Mon Sea Salt, to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge while on a visit to Anglesey.

Earlier in the year the co-operative’s sales reached a record high of £52.9m for the year up to March 2019.

The M&S deal also follows a re-brand of the Dragon range with a more modern impactful design, highlighting the provenance of the Welsh brand.

The brand’s packaging raises awareness of the high quality and provenance of Dragon cheese, with every block traceable back to the farm where the milk used to make it originated.

A map shows customers the area where their cheese is sourced from in north Wales, and a slogan reads: “Welsh milk from Welsh cows fed in the lush green pastures of Wales”.

A series of TV adverts has also been run to raise awareness of the Dragon range of cheeses, featuring one of their farmers, and celebrating pride in being Welsh.

Linda Lewis Williams, new product development manager at SCC, said: “We have an amazing range of products and it is really exciting that M&S have decided to stock the Dragon brand Welsh cheddars on their local produce shelves.

“It is testament to the quality of the produce and the skill of our farmers and staff, we hope to be able to announce more exciting news in the coming months.”

The company was established in 1938 by 63 local farmers. The creamery, which processes more than 100m litres of Welsh milk each year, still occupies its original site at Rhydygwystl, near Chwilog.

The location was carefully chosen on the border between Llŷn and Eifionydd, two areas renowned for their Gulf Stream-warmed lush grass.