Since 1952 the Alvis family have been making the finest Farmhouse Cheese at Lye Cross Farm, situated at the foot of Somerset’s Mendip Hills a few miles from the village of Cheddar.
Today the company employs more than 130 people and has an annual turnover in excess of £26 million. We are continually investing in new technology, whilst following tradition and using the natural resources available to their full potential.
More than 1,000 cows on the three Alvis family farms supply the rich milk to produce a quality range of traditional and organic Cheddars that make Lye Cross Farm Cheese so special. Whether farming organically or conventionally, there is a total and ongoing commitment to the care of the environment, the animals, employees and education for schoolchildren.
John Alvis Snr is still very much a hands-on business man and master cheesemaker. He has nurtured the Lye Cross Farm brand into a multi-million pound company, and ensured that the high standards are constantly maintained.
John is also the driving force behind FarmLink. This is a unique education programme which aims to share farm life and the natural world with school children.
John’s eldest son, Johnny, is the man behind the opening of a £2 million milking parlour at Regilbury in 2011. This has revolutionised the business by dramatically shortening milking time and allowing routine health checks to be carried out quickly and with ease.
Younger brother, Peter, manages the cheese making operation and is passionate about reducing the farm’s energy footprint, with the ultimate aim of becoming carbon neutral. Peter introduced a heat recovery system and a £1.5 million whey-processing unit into the cheese making process. His latest addition is a full set of solar panels as part of the packing facility.
“We work extremely well as a family and care very much about the cheese we make and the future of our successful business.”
John Alvis, Director
The Alvis family business has grown steadily and now takes milk from other farms in the surrounding area helping local farmers. The complete upgrade of the Cheese Dairy in recent years now means the annual capacity for cheese production is 6,000 tonnes.
As the leading UK organic cheese producer and one of the West Country’s finest Farmhouse Cheddar Cheesemakers we offer a full range of organic cheddar and UK territorial cheeses, together with West Country Farmhouse Cheddar and Traditional Farmhouse cheeses all under the prestigious Lye Cross Farm brand.
These products are sold from our farm shop to retailers large and small throughout the UK, with new markets opening abroad.
The PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) is a European quality mark proving the origin of the product is the Cheddar area and of highest quality.