6 June 2001
First Milk to buy Aeron Valley

By Robert Davies, Wales correspondent

FIRST MILK, the co-operative formed by the merger of Axis and Scottish Milk, is to buy the Aeron Valley Cheese creamery in west Wales.

The purchase, for an undisclosed sum, spells the end to a Dairy Crest bid to buy the creamery, which produces about 10,000 tonnes of cheese a year.

John Duncan, chairman of First Milk, said the purchase was a major development of the co-ops milk processing activities.

“It will bring real benefits for the dairy industry in Wales,” he said

“It safeguards employment at Aeron Valley and maintains an important processing facility under farmer ownership.

“We now have a business plan that will enable Aeron Valley to flourish, and we intend to drive up production capacity further.”

Lewis Griffith, executive officer for the Farmers Union of Waless Ceredigion county branch, welcomed the news.

“Producers are absolutely jubilant that Dairy Crest will not be buying from the residual board of Milk Marque,” he said.

“Many farmers looked at the companys track record of plant closures in Wales and feared that it wanted to buy the creamery just to close it.”

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