Fife dairy acquisition grows product mix
Lochhead visits First Milk's Glenfield Dairy to hear diversification plans
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead visited First Milk's Glenfield Dairy, Cowdenbeath, on Wednesday 24th August, to hear about our company's future business plans. We announced the acquisition of Kingdom Dairy and Kingdom Cheese (now Glenfield Dairy) in May, greatly broadening our product, customer and market mix. We also plan to replace the existing creamery in Campbeltown following a 3.9 million pound grant from the Scottish Government, which is expected to secure the future of 40 dairy farms and 100 jobs in Kintyre.
Ahead of visiting the dairy, Mr Lochhead said: "First Milk is an impressive set up, with over 2,000 producers across Scotland, England and Wales. I welcome the commitment to continue growing the business into new markets, which has allowed First Milk to become a diverse dairy manufacturing business with customers including major retailers and food manufacturers.
"The acquisition of Glenfield Dairy will allow customers a wider range of award winning cheddars, such as cottage cheese, mozzarella and creams. First Milk has a unique proposition in the cheese marketplace - Scottish cheese from Scottish milk; English cheese from English milk and Welsh cheese from Welsh milk - which enables the business to focus on delivering true provenance to consumers.
"While recent increases to farm gate returns for liquid and cheese producers are most welcome, it's important to continue adding value to our prized Scottish produce so it retains a premium status. As First Milk demonstrates, co-operative working is now the right path to achieve sustainable growth."
First Milk's chief executive Kate Allum said: "More Scottish farmers choose First Milk to market and process their milk than any other dairy company, so we have a responsibility to invest in assets that drive returns for our producers. The recent acquisition of Glenfield Dairy presents us with a range of opportunities and we were delighted to welcome Richard Lochhead to our Glenfield site to tell him about our plans.
"He has consistently engaged with the dairy sector on the many challenges and opportunities that we encounter, while keeping a clear focus on actions that will deliver a thriving and sustainable industry. From a First Milk perspective, we are extremely grateful for the ongoing support and encouragement from the Scottish Government for our business development plans, particularly in relation to the grant funding for our planned creamery build in Campbeltown. "
The new dairy in Campbeltown will be funded by Scottish Government, the sale of First Milk's existing site to Tesco and company funds. First Milk is the largest dairy farmer-owned business in the UK, handling 1.5 billion litres of milk every year. As an integrated dairy company, it is a major player in the liquid, cheese and ingredients markets. First Milk member farms stretch from Central Scotland to the South of England and from West Wales to East Anglia.