It didn’t exactly have West Country landscapes in mind when it failed to deliver on promises to keep one of the region’s iconic factories open.
But now Kraft – which controversially closed the Cadbury’s factory in Keynsham – has more need of bucolic images of the West to help it sell cheese made 3,000 miles away to North American consumers.
The American conglomerate has commissioned top TV commercial and video filmmakers Smuggler Films of London to shoot an advertisement showcasing Cheddar Gorge and village, to promote its Cracker Barrel brand of Cheddar cheese.
Last night John Spence, managing director of Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, revealed that the filmmakers had even asked to visit his award-winning artisan cheese-making company in the village, but he declined.
He said: “We are the only Cheddar cheese-making company in Cheddar, and basically we don’t want to be associated with Kraft, which is a much more industrial manufacturer.”
Kraft provoked anger in 2010 when it acquired Cadbury and reneged on its promise to keep Cadbury’s Somerdale factory at Keynsham, which it closed and sold for development.
But it has made a return to the region after spending a “successful couple of days in and around Cheddar”. The advert will feature the gorge, shops, a pub and a farm. Actors will be shown strolling on the pavements and beside the river and pretty waterfall beside Cox’s Mill.
Sedgemoor District Council, has co-operated with the film company whose production team will use a section of the council-owned Cliff Street car park to accommodate a catering/dining bus and wardrobe vehicle.
Sedgemoor’s property manager Tim Mander, who negotiated the agreement, said: “It is great news that Cheddar being the home of the world’s most famous cheese will receive some international recognition in an advert that won’t just be confined to filming the gorge.”
Originally cheese had to be made within 30 miles of Wells Cathedral to be able to be called Cheddar.
Now cheese-makers around the world, including Kraft, have the right to call their product Cheddar if it conforms to the unique manufacturing process which originated in the Somerset village.
Cheese from Cheddar was sent to court by royal demand as long ago as 1170, when King Henry II bought 1,020 lbs at a farthing per lb.