17 November 2000
Union welcomes Chard partnership

By FWi staff

FARMERS leaders have welcomed news of a major partnership involving a milk co-operative and Britains biggest dairy processor.

Co-op Milk Link and processor Dairy Crest announced on Thursday (16 November) that they are to develop Chard Creamery in Somerset into Britains largest butter and milk powder plant.

The National Farmers Union said this was an example of farmers getting involved in processing to get extra income out of the supply chain.

NFU Deputy President Tim Bennett said: “This announcement is good news for dairy farmers and good news for the dairy industry.

“This partnership will allow Milk Link members to derive benefits from the processing of milk.”

NFU milk and dairy produce committee chairman Terrig Morgan said: “Forming long-term partnerships within the supply chain is key to bringing benefits to producers and a future security for the dairy industry.”

Initially Dairy Crest and Milk Link, the Cornwall-to-Kent farmer-owned co-op, will jointly manage the raw collection for Chard.

But there are plans to expand this to include other Dairy Crest processing sites in the south of England.

The partnership will also invest to increase Chards existing capacity to handle an annual throughput of 750 million litres.