Lactalis Cheese Factory and McLelland Cheese Packing
On Thursday 23rd of November, Leswalt P5-7 class went on a trip to Lactalis Stranraer. We started off in the meeting room, learning about the history of Lactalis (it’s owned by a French family), how it has grown over the years and the health and safety rules and guidelines which are really important to keep employees safe and produce top quality cheese.
Then group 1 went to cheese packaging across the road from the main factory. Meanwhile group 2 went down into the cheese production factory to see how the cheese was made starting from the milk being delivered and through every stage (curds and whey and the use of ‘good’ bacteria) to the finished product of 20Kg blocks of cheese. This is all done in an area where there are HUGE machines. There is a lot of engineering and Science involved in making such tasty cheese. There was even a small museum there showing the ways in which cheese had been produced over the years.
After that, the Groups came back to the meeting room and tasted different types of cheese. The types of cheese that we tried were mild, medium, mature and extra mature cheddar. That’s not something that we get to do every Thursday!
Lastly, the two groups swapped over, and group 1 went to cheese production and group two went to cheese packaging. At cheese packaging is across the road at the McLelland Cheese Packaging plant and we watched the 20Kg blocks pass through on different lines to be unwrapped, then cut, sliced or grated, packaged up and sealed and then packed ready to go out for delivery. If the bits of cheese are too small, they get collected up and get sent off to be grated.
Lactalis are working really hard on eco issues and recycle all their cardboard, are trialling some recyclable plastic packaging and are investing in producing their own power to run machinery. There are solar panels planned for next year.
Do you know that Stranraer’s factory produces and packs cheese products to be sent all over the world?! And we learnt that there are so many different jobs at the factory – it was really interesting.
Overall, we had a fabulous time at both factories, and we would all like to thank all the staff at Lactalis for giving up their time to show us around.
Report written by Faye Adams and Brandon Millar (P7)