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Farewell to time-honoured staff at Wales’s largest creamery

L-R Peredur, Gwyn and Morgan

Three employees from Wales’s leading farmer owned dairy co-operative are retiring with an impressive 117 years of service between them. Morgan Owen, Gwyn Jones and Peredur Williams are leaving South Caernarfon Creameries with a string of lifelong friendships and a vatful of fond memories. From earthquakes to frightening flights and early morning calls, the three soon-to-be retirees have many stories to tell of their time at the creamery.

Morgan from Llangybi is the longest serving of the three, having worked for almost half a century at the creamery. His 45-year career began in the cheese area, before progressing to running the whey plant. Speaking of his time at the creamery, Morgan said: “I have always liked coming to work here, doing the best in my job and meeting different people. Over the years I have never had the desire to leave. I’ve seen many things over the past decades, but I think the most surprising was experiencing a big earthquake that shook the room. While it is sad to leave my colleagues and friends at the creamery, and a shame that I will not have the chance to work in the new whey plant, I’m looking forward to my retirement now.” 

Not far behind Morgan’s epic four and a half decades is Gwyn who has been working for the creamery for 42 years. Gwyn from Clynnog Fawr, who farms in his spare time, joined the creamery in 1982 and worked on the technical side of cheesemaking.

Gwyn said: “My work at the creamery was varied and I never considered an alternative career. I have worked within the Technical department for most part managing quality assurance, also supporting the environmental services in recent years. I will miss working with my colleagues, many of who have become friends but I will have plenty to keep me busy home on the farm and I hope I will have more time to watch the rugby and football.” 

With 30 years’ experience at the creamery, Peredur is also leaving a long and fulfilling career, managing relationships with farmers from right across Wales. Speaking about his experience, he said: “When I started the job I hoped that I would be working here for many years, but didn’t quite expect that I’d be here for so long, which just shows how rewarding it’s been. I have loved working with the people at the creamery and all the farmers who make the company what it is. It has been a very interesting job and I’ve worked with lots of characters along the way, though I won’t miss the phone ringing at 6am on a Sunday morning!”

Peredur also recalls a nail-biting experience on one of his business trips. He said: “It was July 1997, and I was one of six managers travelling on a small aeroplane from Dinas Dinlle to Goldenvale, southern Ireland. The return flight was a nightmare with no radar or radio working on the aircraft and one of the engines kept failing.”

With hair-raising experiences aside, Peredur who lives on a smallholding in Rhydyclafdy, Pen Llŷn is now looking forward to retirement and spending more time with his family, travelling, brewing beer and doing a little bit of farming. He concluded: “I am very much looking forward to the future and I still maintain that I have never encountered a cheese that equals the tasty cheese South Caernarfon Creamery produces today.”

Alan Wyn Jones, Managing Director added, “Morgan, Gwyn and Peredur have truly given a lifetime of service to the Creamery. In their various roles they have contributed greatly to the success and growth of the business, and the level of service they’ve given is testament to the high standards of their work and the regard that they are held in. On behalf of all of the staff and our farmer members, we thank them for their incredible service and wish the three of them a very happy and healthy well-deserved retirement.”