The phased expansion will take place over four years and the dairy will create 40 new jobs and increase its production capacity for fresh milk, clotted cream and butter milk. It also plans to forge into the production of soft cheese and to develop other products.
RDPE is jointly funded by the EU and Defra, and RDPE program specifically for this region are managed by the South West Regional Development Authority. Business support from RDPE is provided through the government's Solutions for Business services.
The expansion program will include a larger processing area, improved infrastructure and purpose-built new offices and staff facilities, which will replace temporary accommodation. There will also be major investment in equipment and staff training aimed at further improving the quality of products and service. The project also includes the creation of a farm liaison manager post specifically to build effective relationships with suppliers and to focus on building the quality and consistency of supply.
The dairy company has agreed to continue its practice of paying farmers above the South West average price per liter. The higher cream content required by the dairy is separated out in processing and used for their cream-based products. Other processors dealing with liquid milk stipulate lower cream levels to avoid the generation of what they deem as a waste product.
Bill Clarke, managing director of Trewithen Dairy, said: "We are tremendously excited to have been awarded such a big grant, which will facilitate major investment resulting in win-win all round - for Trewithen Dairy, for Cornish farmers, for all our customers and for the Cornish economy.
"More than anything, it will enable us to consolidate and progress our vision of working with the farmer milk suppliers to continue giving them one of the best milk prices for the best quality Cornish milk, with excellent cow welfare and care for our environment."
Nick Buckland, board member of South West RDA, said: "Trewithen Dairy's plans offer an extremely important boost for the Cornish dairy sector. They are totally in line with the objectives that we are working to achieve through RDPE investment in the County and will further reinforce the significance of food and farming for Cornwall's economy.
"As well as increasing Trewithen's own production and range of products, this project will develop the dairy supply chain in Cornwall by increasing the number of the farmers who supply it and by offering a premium price for milk with a higher cream content. It will also mean that less milk has to be transported out of the county."