First Milk and Adams Foods complete strategic supply partnership

First Milk and Adams Foods complete strategic supply partnership

First Milk and Adams Foods have announced the completion of their long term, strategic, cheese supply partnership. The completion of the ground breaking deal follows approval from both the UK's Office of Fair Trading and Irish Competition Authority for the development of a secure, efficient and fully integrated supply chain for hard cheese in the UK retail, foodservice and wholesale sectors.  The partnership will commence integration from 12th March 2014.

The partnership will secure a long-term outlet for the majority of First Milk's hard cheese.  In doing so, First Milk will receive a competitive price for the cheese and this move is directly in line with its strategic objective of adding value and delivering a sustainable future for its farmers.  The partnership will also enable First Milk to make significant additional investment in its creameries to ensure that they are amongst the best in the UK dairy industry.  Whilst it will also allow the company to put greater commercial focus on developing brands in areas such as lifestyle nutrition, foodservice (excluding hard cheese) and exports.

The partnership will reinforce Adams Foods' position as a leading supplier of both British and Irish cheese in the UK, with a turnover of around £500 million.  Adams will utilise its best-in-class facility at Leek in Staffordshire to cut, pack and market the high quality hard cheeses, including branded cheddars, produced at First Milk's award winning Lake District and Haverfordwest creameries. This will complement and build upon Adams Foods' existing long term supply relationships with other British cheese makers such as Parkham Farms and South Caernarfon Creameries. 

Kate Allum, Chief Executive of First Milk, commented: "Our partnership with Adams Foods is directly in line with our objective of adding value to our members' milk and in doing so delivering a sustainable future for them. It will provide us with secure and competitive returns for our cheese and allow us to invest further in our Lake District and Haverfordwest creameries.

"The partnership is a big piece of the jigsaw coming together in defining the strongest core base we have ever had as a business. Additionally, it will enable us to focus more of our time and resources on priority growth areas like brand development, lifestyle nutrition and exports."

Ian Toal, Chief Executive of Adams Foods, commented: "Adams Foods' strategic goal is to be the leading supplier of cheese in the UK through guaranteeing our customers a secure, efficient and traceable supply of high quality British and Irish hard cheese.  Central to achieving this has been our focus on establishing long term cheese supply partnerships, a £60 million investment to date in the UK including our state-of-the-art cutting and packing facility in Leek and the development of best in class capabilities in relation to product and packaging innovation, marketing and category management.

"Our partnership with First Milk will enable us to create a shorter and more effective supply chain.  As such, it will provide a strong platform for the further development of Adams Foods' retail, foodservice and wholesale customer label, convenience format and branded cheese offering.  At the same time, I believe that it will it play a key role in helping to sustain and develop the British cheese market and wider dairy industry."


Notes to editors

About First Milk

First Milk is the UK's only major dairy company, 100% owned by British farmers.  It supplies a wide range of dairy products and dairy ingredients to customers in both national and international markets including block cheeses, soft cheeses, raw milk, butter, skimmed milk powder, whey proteins and sports nutrition brands.

It generates annual revenues of £530 million (2012/13 figures) and is headquartered in Glasgow with eight manufacturing sites across England, Scotland and Wales employing a total of 667 people.

First Milk's aspiration is to provide consumers with great-tasting nutritious food, while delivering value for every part of its farmers' milk. As a business with a passion for innovation and sustainability, it is constantly seeking fresh ways of working with partners across the supply chain to drive pioneering solutions to industry challenges.

For further information on First Milk, please visit or follow the company on Twitter @first_milk and YouTube 

A copy of First Milk's sustainability report is also available to download via its website,

About Adams Foods

Adams Foods ( is a leading supplier of Irish and British cheese for the UK Market, with a brand portfolio including leading cheese brands such as Pilgrims Choice and MU in addition to the famous Kerrygold dairy brand.

Adams is driven by quality, innovation and customer service and aims to provide a one stop shop solution for cheese, butter and other dairy products. This is supported by the company's £60m investment in the UK, including its state of the art cheese packing facility in Leek, Staffordshire which has just seen the addition of a brand new innovation centre.

Adams Foods was established in 2010 following the merger between The Kerrygold Company and North Downs Dairy and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Irish Dairy Board.

For more information, please contact:

First Milk
Paul Flanagan
Director of External Affairs, First Milk
M: 07767 241452

Adams Foods
Will Sanderson
Director, Sanderson Communications

M: 07969 918542