FUW Dairy leader hails merger boost
The proposed merger of Arla Foods and Milk Link will combine two growth-orientated farmer-owned co-operatives in a move which represents a significant boost for the UK dairy sector, the chairman of the Farmers' Union of Wales milk and dairy produce committee said today.
Welcoming the proposal, Dei (correct spelling) Davies said: “For many years an inequality has existed between the prices received by producers in the UK and those in mainland Europe and this merger represents a positive first step towards lifting the price received by UK producers.
“The creation of what will be the UK’s largest dairy industry business will hopefully strengthen the UK sector and increase the presence of UK producers into core markets.
“It is hoped that the wider implications of the merger will be a strengthened UK dairy sector with a more secure and sustainable future,” added Mr Davies, who runs a dairy farm at Holywell, Flintshire.
The two dairy co-operatives' proposal will create the largest player in the UK dairy market, which will process over three billion litres of milk per annum and have a combined turnover in excess of £2 billion.
The proposed merger builds on the working relationship that already exists between the two parties. This includes a joint venture in Westbury Dairies Ltd, shared facilities at Lockerbie and Milk Link supplying raw milk to Arla.
It will further build on Arla’s ambition to invest in and grow the UK dairy market and enter new categories. Arla Foods amba has invested over £500 million in the UK dairy industry where it has established some of the country’s most popular dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor.
Processing approximately two billion litres of milk a year, Arla is one of the UK’s leading dairy companies and a supplier of fresh liquid milk, cream and dairy products to the major retailers. Currently, Arla is building one of the world’s largest fresh milk processing facilities in Aylesbury.
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