20 December 2000
Milk co-ops to merge

By Robert Harris

TWO of the UKs major milk supply co-ops are planning to merge from next April.

Axis, based in the midlands, and Scottish Milk will join forces to create British Milk, a business with 4500 farmer-members.

It will trade 2.2 billion litres of milk a year, about 18% of the UKs raw milk. Turnover will exceed 400m.

Both boards have agreed to move in principle, and farmer-members will vote at special general meetings next month.

“For the first time, one milk business will operate across Great Britain,” said John Duncan, chairman of Scottish Milk.

“There is no doubt that Axis is the ideal partner.

“We have shared strategic objectives in promoting dairy farmers interests, and together we will provide customers with benefits and strengths of a national business.

“Multiple retailers and processors are rationalising apace. We need to take this opportunity to grow.

“As a national company we will be able to sit across the table on equal terms with our customers.”

Axis chairman, Roger Evans, said: “Creating British Milk fulfils our key growth strategy and provides us with national capability.

“And it provides us with the potential to offer new services to Axis members.”