A CHEESE that is gracing the delicatessen counters of Manhatten has had a transatlantic boost after its manufacturers secured multi-million pound contracts in New York.

The Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, North Yorkshire, maker of Real Yorkshire Wensleydale, was represented on the Cheese from Britain stand at an international food show in New York.

It was also shown off by one of its US distributors, who had a fridge full of Real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese. As a result of the event, two contracts have been agreed with US retailers.

One of the leading retailers is to sell two cheeses, and possibly a third, which will generate in excess of £1m turnover a year.

A major distributor from Canada is also interested in the creamery’s products following a meeting at the show.

Sales director Phil Jones said: “It is amazing to go into a deli in Manhattan and see Real Yorkshire Wensleydale Cheese on the counter.

“It was a tremendous show and one that allowed us to focus on this key export market.

“It allowed us to meet potential customers and also helped us to build on existing customer relationships and to close several lucrative deals.”

Wholesalers were given the chance to sample a range of cheese, including Real Yorkshire Wensleydale with cranberries or blueberries.

Real Yorkshire Wensleydale with cranberries and Abbot’s Gold cheddar with caramelised onion are going from strength to strength in the US and are showing an increase is sales.

Mr Jones said: “While our trip to the US centered on the show, our staff also attended cheese samplings and took time to visit a number of outlets and distributors throughout New York, which has helped give us an even better insight into the US market.”

The Wensleydale Creamery, which employs nearly 200 people across two manufacturing sites, uses traditional methods to handcraft cheese using milk from local farms.

Wensleydale Dairy Products is seeking protected food name status for Yorkshire Wensleydale to differentiate it from other Wensleydale cheese on the market.

The submission for Protected Designation of Origin for Yorkshire Wensleydale is currently being processed in Brussels.