Grant supports further investment at Haverfordwest creamery

First Milk are investing in new whey¹ processing equipment at the Haverfordwest creamery in Pembrokeshire, which will improve the quality of whey outputs from the site, as well as delivering significant energy savings. Work on the project will begin immediately and is expected to be completed in January 2008.
The installation of this equipment forms the main element of a multi-million pound project which has been part-funded by a Welsh Assembly Government grant of £1.07 million. When completed the venture will have cost over £3 million.

Paul Rowe, general manager at First Milk's Haverfordwest creamery commented, "Investing in new whey processing equipment, in addition to the £3.3 million spent at the creamery over the last 12 months on cheese manufacturing equipment, boilers and compressors, clearly demonstrates the commitment of First Milk to Wales. The grant support we have received from The Welsh Assembly has been instrumental in enabling us to undertake this project.

"The dairy industry is extremely competitive, and it's critical that we continue to invest in our assets to maintain our leading position."

The main element of the project is to decommission an evaporation plant at the creamery and install a series of membrane filtration systems and associated equipment. Heat energy will also be recovered as part of the project, thus reducing the volumes of water currently sourced from the mains water supply. There will also be a corresponding reduction in effluent volumes.

A dedicated project team consisting of site and external professionals will manage the project.

Notes to editors

¹Whey is a by-product of cheese making. It is formed when the curds separate from the milk. After the cheese curds are formed, the remaining liquid is called 'whey'.

Whey products are used as ingredients in a range of products including functional foods, protein drinks, pro-biotics, pre-biotics, pharmaceutical, bakery and confectionary.

The Haverfordwest creamery has been at the Merlin's Bridge site at Haverfordwest since 1930 and commenced manufacturing cheese in the early 1960's.

Currently, the creamery produces over 20,000 tonnes of cheese for a number of the major retail customers including Morrison's and Tesco, in addition to 35,000 tonnes of whey products.