Research and Innovation case study: Collaboration leads to 4.2million supermarket deal for Devon da

Tags: research and innovation | food manufacturing

Nestled in the Devon countryside, Langage Farm has been a farmstead for more than 900 years which is today established as a national dairy business, employing around 50 people with a product range spanning 100 different ice creams, creams, cheeses and yoghurts.

The dairy had noticed small differences in the consistency of its soft cheese and asked the University of Plymouth’s Electron Microscopy Centre to help it examine the products more closely. By generating high resolution images of the cheese using scanning electron microscopes, the micro-structures across batches of cheese were analysed.

The University began working with the business in the shape of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to understand the science behind small seasonal variations in the dairy products’ appearance and texture, advising the firm how to alter its processes to deliver more consistent products - something that is particularly important to supermarkets.

It was a good result for the business, who could put the knowledge gained directly into practice. Access to such specialist equipment and expert knowledge was a huge boom to their growth plans, and not something they had thought possible from a rural corner of the South West.

Just a year into its KTP, Langage Farm signed a £4.2 million contract to supply yoghurts to one of the UK’s largest supermarkets. This was the firm’s biggest deal, creating ten new jobs.