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The closure of Torrylinn Creamery and the loss of yet another piece of Arran’s heritage is a lamentable reality in this day of corporate ownership and tightly managed profit margins.
While making an exceptionally high quality product that is internationally recognised and that has an established and eager market, the closure all boils down to numbers. Not just financial numbers but also in size – Torrylinn creamery has an annual output of 200 tonnes while Campbeltown Creamery which was also put on the market at the same time and which has now found a buyer, has an output of 3,200 tonnes.
The numbers just do not add up for potential purchasers. A concerted effort has been made to sell the enterprise, even as far as to approach buyers in Taiwan where there is a niche market for quality Scottish products, but thus far there has been no interest.
Of course, small batch, artisanal products are still very much in demand and can command a higher price but overheads need to be kept low and careful investment in marketing, production and future proofing also needs to be made.
Torrylinn and its staff have soldiered on for many years, punching far above their weight, but even they can not weather the lack of investment, diminishing markets and corporate demands.
We are sorry to see it go.