British dairy cooperative First Milk has announced a £12.5 million investment into two cheese and whey production sites in the UK.
The capital investment will take place this year, providing additional processing capacity to meet the growing needs of customers in the UK and export markets.
£9 million will go towards the installation of new high-capacity cheese blockformers, as well as new water, milk, cream and whey handling processes at its Lake District Creamery in Aspatria, Cumbria.
This marks the fourth stage of a multi-year investment at First Milk’s Lake District site since 2019, totalling around £14 million, following new rapid chill stores and upgrades to its milk processing equipment.
Meanwhile, the company’s Haverfordwest Creamery will receive a £3.5 million capital injection for a new chilled-water plant and upgrades to the whey process. The new investment comes on the heels of an £8 million investment at the site, completed last year, which included a new cheese tower, separators, milk silos and a combined heat and power plant.
With these new projects, First Milk says it has invested around £30 million in its cheese production sites over the last three years, increasing the processing capacity of both sites by over 20%.
Shelagh Hancock, CEO of First Milk, said: “We are committed to investing in our processing facilities to continuously drive operational efficiency, product quality and sustainability. This investment programme will unlock additional capacity, whilst helping us further enhance our award-winning product quality.
“What’s more, this capital spend enables us to reduce energy and water use, helping us to meet our ambitious First4Milk environmental targets and reinforcing our commitment to sustainable dairy.”
In 2019, First Milk became the sole owner of the whey protein concentrate manufacturing facilities at the Lake District creamery, after acquiring Fonterra’s 51% stake in the companies’ Fast Forward joint venture.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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