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Blessed indeed are the cheesemakers ...

By Margaret Canning, Business Correspondent

Blessed are the cheesemakers in Co Tyrone's Fivemiletown, judging by the sustained success of Fivemiletown Creamery.

Yesterday the firm unveiled a new deal with Sainbury's which will see its grated smoked cheese supplied in 250 supermarkets, following the success of its smoked brie in the supermarket, with sales up 75%. It even sells cheese to the French, with its brie on sale in Galeries Lafayette stores. It has remained close to its roots as a cooperative, drawing milk from 60 farmers in Fivemiletown and Co Tyrone's Clogher Valley among others.

It describes cheesemaking as an "art" with two elements at its heart - "the quality and purity of the milk and the skill and passion of the cheesemaker".

The marketing nous on display in Fivemiletown Creamery is also an invaluable asset.

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