For Robert Wakeham: Indeed. …

Comment posted Revised plans announced for new Kintyre creamery by newsroom.

For Robert Wakeham: Indeed.

newsroom also commented

  • From Councillor John Semple:
    It has been announced by First Milk and the Scottish Government that the future of dairy and cheese production in Kintyre has been secured for the long-term following the further intervention of the Scottish Government. Prolonged negotiations had been taking place with Tesco’s, who subsequently withdrew from a partnership arrangement with First Milk to build a new store on the existing creamery site. Tesco were awarded planning permission subject to the building of a new creamery. The new store will not now go ahead.

    Commenting on the announcement, local SNP Councillor John Semple said –

    “This is a welcome break for hardworking Kintyre farmers who depend on the Campbeltown Creamery, these families have been held in suspense over the last few months, they can now look forward to surety of a market for their milk.

    “Local traders who questioned the impact of a Tesco superstore on business can also breathe a sigh of relief, but it will be a disappointment for consumers who had hoped to benefit from a wider choice of goods and consumables. My hope is that Tesco will now look at their existing site for further development. This site sits within the safety zone of the Campbeltown gasworks and is only suitable for limited types of development.”

    Leader of the SNP group on Argyll and Bute Council, Robert MacIntyre, a dairy farmer himself said –

    “This is great news for Kintyre farmers and for Argyll and Bute. The Campbeltown creamery is a significant employer and the products are well known across the country putting this area on the food map of the UK. The commitment shown by the Scottish Government towards this key producer is credit to a government that understands industry and rurality.”

Recent comments by newsroom

  • MV Loch Seaforth for Stornoway-Ullapool: a tale of public sector ‘management’
    This is what we thought would be the case.
    The correction was not aggressive but concerned that blurring the very real distinctions between these companies and their respective responsibilities [which 'CMAL/CalMac' unintentionally does do] perpetuates a problem in the public understanding of an issue which is going to be very important for the west coast and islands over the following 14 months.
  • MV Loch Seaforth for Stornoway-Ullapool: a tale of public sector ‘management’
    On a point of information: you cannot refer to ‘CMAL/CalMac’ or ‘CMAL’CalMac boards’. The companies are not associated other than as supplier and client; and as being the property of the Scottish Government of the day..
    CMAL is an incorporated, supposedly ‘arms-length’, state owned company. It is a standalone, with no affiliated corporate junion or senior companies.
    Caledonian MacBrayne is an incorporated, supposedly ‘arms-length’, state owned company – but is one of the state owned David MacBrayne Limited group of companies.
    NorthLink Ferries used to be a member of this group, also as a supposedly ‘arms-length’ state owned company, until the Northern Isles Ferry Services contract was awarded instead to Serco, at which point the NorthLink brand stayed with the service and the company itself went out of existence.
    Argyll Ferries, a subsidiary company of Caledonian MacBrayne and part of the David MacBrayne Limited group, is also a supposedly ‘arms-length’ state owned company.
    CMAL and CalMac are therefore both owned by the Scottish Government [as 'Scottish Ministers'] but there is no corporate realtionship between them. They are not sister companies. Their Boards are zeparately appointed.
    There is no great affinity between them either, with a key incident in the recent past being a cause of it. This is a matter which we disclosed a couple of years ago having learned of it from sources in Northern Irealand; and is something which we will revisit.
    The last paragraph of your comment below is tripping on the same confusion:
    ‘However, not only did CMAL/Calmac emasculate the last tender, but they also ensured that the winner of the current tender was obligated to a continuum, by taking on CMaL’s vessels, and their associated costs.’
    The Scottish Government through Transport Scotland, is the procuring agency and therefore manages the tender process, not either CMAL or CalMac.
    To date, CMAL has not had to compete to supply ships to the operator of the Clyde and Hebridean Ferry Services [CHFS]. The tender has required the successful bidder to take the entire CMAL fleet. This prescription is the responsibility of CMAL’s owner and the end owner of the vessels, the Scottish Government – and protects its investment.
    On the other hand, CalMac has to compete with other bidders to operate the Clyde and Hebridean services.
    It has seen the Scottish Government bin its sister company, NorthLink Ferries and hand the Northern Isles ferry services – and their brand – to the now disgraced privateer, Serco,
    CalMac will know the score.
    Like NorthLink Ferries, CalMac is an operator. As with NorthLink, if CalMac were to lose the CHFS contract, certain types of jobs would be lost. The Scottish Government appears to prefer to protect its investment in the ships than its investment in some types of jobs and in the protection which its status as a government offers other types pf jobs.
  • Ascot to Scottish Tourism Week: Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative
    There is an issue here. we were unable to see the logic of the Ascot presence and our questions on the strategy involved went unanaswered.
    We have been – and remain – concerned by a loss of concentrated strategic focus that appears to have stricken AITC, ironically since it was granted council and HIE funding.
    The flair’s not there and any hard or soft edged marketing needs flair – the one indispensable.
    We think back to a seminal period which has not been taken into the development drive whose promise it exuded – the Tourism Summit at Portavadie.
    That was packed with commitment, ideas, initiatives, energy, hope and fun.
    Kintyre Express came in from the sea in tribute to the location. Brian Keating was pushing issues like air PSOs. The Scottish RYA was putting a hard edged business case for leisure sailing facilities and stepping stones of marinas through Argyll waters….
    There was hope – there was a shedload of buy-in from the industry, there was static electricity everywhere.
    At this stage we felt AITC was taking off and towing Argyll upwards behind it. The council was starting to loosen its stays and feel imaginative. We were on the way. Everyone was on board.
    Now somehow, for whatever reason, the heart, lungs and mind don’t seem to be there.
    We continue to hope but we need to be convinced.
  • Ascot to Scottish Tourism Week: Argyll and the Isles Tourism Cooperative
    That is a serious issue.
    Public money is always at a discount in the public sector.
  • Conservatives suggest new network of recovery centres to treat drunks outwith overpressed A&E
    The SNP Scottish Government’s plan for minimum pricing of alcohol was strategic, brave and rated as a serious contributor to the address to the issue you correctly identify.
    It is a major loss that this plan was deliberately derailed – largely by the immensely well funded lobbying power of drinks giant, Diageo, whose profits are swollen by the misery of the vulnerable whom they exploit.
    They fronted their campaign on the visceral romance of Scotch whisky – which was already beyond the minimum price that was planned and would have remained unaffected.
    What they really wanted to protect was the profit margin on their cheap alcopops and vodka – the major stepping stones in developing a drink habit in teenagers and thereby protecting profits well ibto the future.
    Diageo too played a major part in taking down the later attempt by the UK government to introduce the same ‘measure’.

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44 Responses to For Robert Wakeham: Indeed. …

  1. From Councillor John Semple:
    It has been announced by First Milk and the Scottish Government that the future of dairy and cheese production in Kintyre has been secured for the long-term following the further intervention of the Scottish Government. Prolonged negotiations had been taking place with Tesco’s, who subsequently withdrew from a partnership arrangement with First Milk to build a new store on the existing creamery site. Tesco were awarded planning permission subject to the building of a new creamery. The new store will not now go ahead.

    Commenting on the announcement, local SNP Councillor John Semple said –

    “This is a welcome break for hardworking Kintyre farmers who depend on the Campbeltown Creamery, these families have been held in suspense over the last few months, they can now look forward to surety of a market for their milk.

    “Local traders who questioned the impact of a Tesco superstore on business can also breathe a sigh of relief, but it will be a disappointment for consumers who had hoped to benefit from a wider choice of goods and consumables. My hope is that Tesco will now look at their existing site for further development. This site sits within the safety zone of the Campbeltown gasworks and is only suitable for limited types of development.”

    Leader of the SNP group on Argyll and Bute Council, Robert MacIntyre, a dairy farmer himself said –

    “This is great news for Kintyre farmers and for Argyll and Bute. The Campbeltown creamery is a significant employer and the products are well known across the country putting this area on the food map of the UK. The commitment shown by the Scottish Government towards this key producer is credit to a government that understands industry and rurality.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  2. It’s surely good news that the future of the creamery is no longer tied to the decisions of a giant corporation that – whatever their benefit to the people of Campbeltown – have a reputation for single minded and ruthless pursuit of their own commercial interest, something not immediately apparent from their carefully tended public image.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  3. Newsroom , I am surprised you have swallowed the “secures the future of 38 dairy farms” line being spun by the Scottish Government and First Milk . When the original plans were announced in November 2007 (remember the headline in the Campbeltown Courier – Campbeltown Celebrates) the plans were said to secure the future of the 42 dairy farms in the area . Few people with a knowledge of dairying in Kintyre expect there to be 38 dairy farms by the time the new creamery extension is opened or for the present number of Creamery workers to be maintained .
    I note there is no mention of the much trumpeted world class facility previously highlighted , I suspect this is more like a replacement of some of the run down buildings at the present creamery , a creamery we were told by First Milk is no longer fit for purpose , indeed fit only for demolition .
    Regarding the “increased production” , that made me laugh . Already milk is being taken by tanker from Bute to Kintyre at a cost of 4.5 pence per litre according to figures from NFUS to try and maintain throughput at the factory , an unsustainable proposition and seriously damaging to the environment .
    The inevitable decline in the dairy industry in Kintyre continues and no amount of grant aid or spinning by the SNP and First Milk change that fact .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Once again kintyre1 puts his own depressive view on a situation which he has only a limited knowledge!

    From my info. Kintyre produces as much milk now from 38 commited and dedicated farming families as it did when there were over 100.
    Number of producers does not relate to viability.

    In Firstmilks press release,Kate Allum again reiterates Firstmilks commitment to Kintyre producers and Mull of Kintyre cheddar.

    Campbeltown creamery is going to have significant investement,what form that takes is Firstmilks decision.
    What is certain is that the dirty tricks played by Tesco is not going to deviate them from their goal.

    What is not to be applauded in this ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

    • Morag can you explain why milk is being tankered into Kintyre everyday if as you claim there is as much milk as there was when there were 100 producers ?
      Can you further tell us how many dairy cows there are in Kintyre now compared to a few years ago ,
      and while you are about it tell us why Campbeltown cheese is being sold in Lidl supermarkets at a knock down price when it is claimed to be a premium product .

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      • ..”tankered into Kintyre everyday…”

        Wrong.

        Just give me a few weeks and a calculator and …jeez get a grip!!!

        You know Nothing about milk production and I have told you that milk production levels are on a parr with many years ago.

        Are you claiming that Lidl aren’t allowed to sell premium products now?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  5. Producers can be “committed and dedicated” one day and dead the next . It is clear from recent farm sales that no one is willing to come to Kintyre and take on a dairy farm , little wonder when producers here receive one of the poorest milk prices in Europe and have some of the highest costs .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • Most of the time I just shake my head at your crass statements.But,It has become really evident that you have some secret agenda to turn any positives in dairy farming into an abyss of innuedo,lies,misinformation and incomprehensible statements.

      There may be some truth to the premise that if enough muck is thrown,some will surely stick!

      Is that your purpose? Because I’m having trouble figuring your posts out.

      You are obviously a disgruntled farmer,but why such venom is directed to a hard working section of Kintyre,is mystifying.

      As with others,I would dearly like to hear your explanation……

      The floor is all yours!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  6. If the number of producers is unimportant , why do the Scottish Government and First Milk put such emphasis on the number ? Could it be that they realise without a critical number of producers there is no infrastructure to support farmers eg vets ,feed merchants , dairy engineers etc

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    • As already stated…..are you listening?…number of producers may have fallen,but,levels of milk production have remained steady.
      You are making too much out of numbers.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • Fortunately,I have provided the facts and you have not.

      And how can anyone assasinate a character with no credence,in fact,no character at all!

      When you can deliver the goods…then I’ll be the first to acknowledge same…until then put up or shut up.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  7. Pot calling the Kettle black eh kintyre1? :-)

    The simple fact is Morag is correct. Milk production in Kintyre is at the same level as it was regardless of the number of dairies. Haven’t some farms actually been bought over and consolidated therefore falling under one dairy farm now?

    Sales of farms are like property on the whole Kintyre1 and if you haven’t noticed there is a recession on! Granted the milk prices could, and should, be better but that is another argument.

    This is really a positive story so stop being so negative about everything on here.

    As for Lidl, how dare they purchase a bulk production of cheese and sell it how they please! How dare they! ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

      • And your point is? Nope I can’t explain and quite frankly I don’t care. Perhaps they need more milk? Perhaps secuirty of the creamery will encourage local dairy farms to increase their herds?

        On the basis of the creamery being secured surely this is good news? (whatever the other issues may be?)

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  8. Standing on the side and having no knowledge of dairy farming, it seems to me kintyre1 is arguing that the £2m investment by the Scottish Gov and First Milk to secure 100 jobs in the plant, also it seems to be an important outlet for the Kintyre farms selling to the Creamery, is a no brainer and complete waste of taxpayers monies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    • I’m afraid John you are make no more sense than Kintyre1 is!! If it is an important outlet, secures the security of the creamery and its workforce and local dairies then its hardly a waste of taxpayers money given some of the white elephants we have in Kintyre over the years!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  9. I am interested to see John in Kintyre talk of a £2million pound investment by the Scottish Gov and First Milk . My understanding and no doubt john will correct me if I am mistaken , is that up to 2 million pounds of European grant funding to be delivered by the Scottish Government is available for this project which begs the question , how much are First Milk contributing ?
    My position on the Creamery is that I have serious doubts about it’s long term sustainability , with or without this investment and that I would prefer to see government take a more rounded view of development in Kintyre and agriculture in particular given that the present strategy is based on the Creamery and dairying only with grant funding poured into the milk sector and other farmers and their projects left with a few crumbs of support or none at all in many cases. In summary don’t put all your eggs in one shaky basket .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  10. I would not be surprised if Tesco pull out of Campbeltown and sell their exsisting store to Lidl. The only reason that Tesco have supermarkets in Oban and Campbeltown is because they fell heir to them when they bought William Low’s.

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  11. kintyre1,
    I can only go by the article above and the press releases from both the Scottish Gov and First Milk, both of which state that the Goverment funding of £2m is subject to the benificiary, First Milk, meeting standard grant conditions.

    To me it does not matter a great deal whether it is European Monies or not, as long as it is benificial to Kintyre farmers and the existing workforce in the Creamery.

    It is excellent news for Campbeltown which sorely needs some inward investment.

    Perhaps you have something against Dairy Farmers hence the sour grape whinging in your posts, I know it must be very difficult for someone of your political persuasion to even admit some good will come of this project especially if it is driven by the Scottish Goverment and a Farmer’s Co-operative.

    On a different subject, where are the followers of the grumpy old men party going to put their “x” in the comming referendum?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. Robert.
    Supermarkets like Tesco are keen to take over post office’s as they hope people collecting their pensions and other benefits will then spend their money in their supermarket.
    Tesco are still doing well when their main competitor is the Co-op.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • Treblet: Exactly – so you can’t claim that Tesco are reluctant players in the Oban retail scene (although I do wonder if their customers might increasingly appreciate that ‘every little helps’ a great deal more in the nearby Aldi and Lidl than in the mighty Tesco).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  13. Robert.
    You obviously do not like Tesco.
    Where I live I would be delighted if Tesco decided to open up in competition with the Co-op. It would certainly make the Co-op reduce their prices and join the real world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Treblet: correct; I think they’re too big, and very, very sharp – and as a result have far too much influence over our economic lives – and politics. Yes they can be cheaper than the competition (though don’t bet on this) but I think this is at the price of widespread economic and social damage in traditional town centres. They’re past masters at manipulating public opinion – and politicians – and getting exactly what they want, sometimes at great cost to others; their property dealing activities can be utterly ruthless.

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  14. Tesco’s prices are normally about the same as ASDA sometimes cheaper for some items and slightly dearer for others. However on a weekly shopping trip Tesco and ASDA are certainly cheaper than every other major supermarket chain such as Morrisons, Sainsbury and the Co-op.
    You cannot include Lidl’s or Aldi as you would be hard pressed to do a weekly shop in one visit to either Lidl or Aldi.
    I am a member of Kantar World Panel (also known as National Shopping Monitor) and I scan my shopping. Therefore I know all about the prices in supermarkets.

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    • Cheapest is rarely best value.Tesco are very inclined to push their own products and I find that their fruit and vegetables are over chilled

      Oban is fortunate in having a fairly wide choice and Aldi and Lidl offer interesting alternatives

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    • Treblet: look up from your shopping basket and you’ll observe that the Co-op has invested in supermarkets in the more remote communities that the cherry pickers can’t be bothered with. Sure the price of shopping is higher than in Asda or Tesco, and it’s the downside of free market economics. I wonder, if – as a condition of being free to set up shop wherever they pleased – the likes of Tesco was required to also set up shop where the people pleased as well, you might find the price gap wasn’t quite as big?

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  15. Morag.
    If the people in Kintyre do not like Tesco then that is their choice. They will certainly notice that they will pay a lot more for their shopping if they start using the Co-op in Campbeltown instead of Tesco.

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    • And perhaps their conscience will be healthier Treblet knowing they are purchasing goods from a Fair Trade store. Unlike Tescos. Do people stop to think about that? Most, no. Why? Because they are selfish.

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      • Hughie I heartily agree. Shopping in the Co-op is more than a price issue. I have also noticed an increase in shoppers at Campbeltown Co-op in the last few years,so cost is obviously not the main consideration.

        And don’t forget that we get, as share holders,some decent benefits back.I would love to see the Co-op expand in the town….Arrans Co-op is much larger and gives better choice,perhaps that’s what we really should be asking for?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  16. Some of the Fair Trade products I have purchased in the Co-op are dreadful. I have had Co-op Fair Trade wine which tasted like vinegar and Co-op Fair Trade chocolate which is not nearly as good as Cadbury’s.
    Tesco and ASDA will not open new supermarkets in a town unless it has a large population. The only reason that there is a Morrison’s in Fort William is because Morrison’s fell heir to it when they bought Safeways.

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  17. Treblet: You might be right about ASDA, but Tesco and Morrisons in Oban and Fort William respectively would have packed up and departed long ago if their inherited supermarkets weren’t viable. As for quality of Fairtrade products, in my experience there’s a fair amount of wine – particularly the cheap stuff – of all sorts of provenance, that tastes a bit like vinegar. As for chocolate, there’s just a chance that you’ve grown up with Cadbury’s and prefer the taste of it – apparently the reverse applies to some Americans who find our chocolate strange in comparison with Hershey’s and whatever else is sold there. Most Fairtrade chocolate seems to be manufactured in Germany, and I wonder if perhaps it doesn’t contain the vegetable fat that Cadbury’s chococolate has – in the same way that German beer purity laws ensure that their stuff doesn’t contain the additives that are present in a lot of our beer.

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  18. Milk being brought to the creamery from Bute…wow
    This is not anything new…Milk came to the creamery from Inverness years ago…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  19. Figures out this week show that the number of dairy farms +COWS is at an all time low in Scotland .
    4000 dairy cows in Kintyre & Gigha and falling , where not so long ago there were 6500 . FACTS .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

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