A Word from Craig
As the Cheese Production Manager for Arla’s award winning Lockerbie creamery, Craig Hodgson is responsible for overseeing every facet of the cheese making process.
Originally from a science background, self-confessed cheese lover Craig was always attracted by the science of cheese making. So after beginning in laboratories and working his way up, he was thrilled to take charge of the famously sweet, creamy Cheddars made in Lockerbie.
Assuming control for such a legendary product is a huge responsibility – and one Craig takes very seriously: “The most critical part of the process is controlling your quality,” he says. “It’s essentially about process control; you have to hit the right level of moisture, acidity and salt to ensure you get the best quality of Cheddar.”
Heading up a team of 20 dedicated cheese makers, Craig’s favourite part of the job is ensuring the quality of every Cheddar. Ever the perfectionist, he insists upon daily checks to satisfy himself he’s making the best possible cheese. “I also like tasting the end product,” he adds with a smile.
So what does Craig feel makes his Cheddar so special? “We’re known for having a sweet, tangy cheese with what we would call ‘a wee bit of bite’ – and that’s what makes it stand out.”
Under Craig’s stewardship the Lockerbie creamery continues to win awards. Although making the finest cheeses for his customers remains his top priority, winning accolades is clearly a source of pride: “We’ve won the Best Scottish Cheese in a number of shows in 2016,” Craig enthuses. “That includes The British Cheese Awards and the Royal Highland Show.”
When it comes to eating his end product, Craig is very much a traditionalist. “I like to have my cheese on a cheeseboard with some oatcakes, butter, some caramelised onion and a bit of fruit to cleanse the palate.”