A SMALL-scale artisan cheese company near Newcastle Emlyn is offering to give away some of its produce for free as it looks to try get its staff back to work and keep the business running during the coronavirus pandemic.

Award-winning Caws Cenarth Cheese which employs 20 people, took the “difficult decision” to stop making cheese 10 days ago after a catastrophic fall in orders.

But now business owner Carwyn Adams is hoping people will rally round to help out as he has come up with a scheme to try to save the business – while also benefiting people struggling to put food on the table.

“I have been making cheese for about 20 years and seen a lot of things in West Wales such as foot and mouth and BSE but this is something else,” said Carywn, in a video posted on YouTube from his Glyneithinog farm in the Cych valley.

“Most of our business is in the hospitality sector which closed virtually overnight while retail outlets decided our product is not essential. We have lost 85 per cent of our business.

“We are now reaching out to see if people who supported us in the past will rally round and support us once again.

“This is dire times. I have a quarter of a year’s stock of soft and blue cheese which are not going to last that long and we have come up with some amazing offers and hopefully people will be able to support us.”

Three of the most popular types of cheese – Perl Las ( a creamy blue cheese); Perl Wen (a Brie-like cheese) and Caws Cryf (a strong, smooth cheese) – make up the offer which Carwyn describes as a “bit of a social experiment”.

Offer one: To pay the full price and receive a 50 per cent discount at Christmas.

Offer two: 50 per cent off

Offer three: Free cheese.

“You might be thinking ‘free cheese?’ but we are probably going to have to throw it away later anyway,” said Carwyn.

“We are hoping that those who can afford to pay will, others to pay what they can and those who really cannot afford it in these dire times, we will give it away free.

“There is a certain percentage we can give away for free and really it’s down to you to make that decision and that call.

“I am looking to you guys to come to our rescue , get the message out these and get jobs back to these wonderful guys and start making cheese again.”

Within a day of posting the video, it had received more than 12,000 views, with many messages of support being posted.

To view the video go to www.youtube.com/watch

Visit Caws Cenarth at cawscenarth.co.uk or go to the Facebook page Caws Cenarth Cheese for more details.