15 September 1995

Wiseman Dairies open for business

MILK producers in the north-west of England can now sign up to supply milk directly to Robert Wiseman Dairies new £12m Manchester factory.

The company, based in Glasgow, launched its producer contract for the new dairy last week. For milk of 4.1% butterfat and 3.25% protein, and of top hygienic quality, the Wiseman price will be 25.6p/litre.

The company operates a basic standard litre of 3.5% butterfat and 3% protein, for which there is a guaranteed price of 24.3p/litre until Mar 31, 1997. From that base additional payments of 0.15p/0.1% fat and 0.04p/0.1% protein will be paid.

Volume bonuses will also apply, ranging up to 0.5p/litre for those producing over 8000 litres a day. And seasonality adjustments will be suspended until April 1996.

Wisemans will initially target the 6000 producers within a 50-mile radius of the new dairy. The company already sources over 40% of its Scottish requirements directly and aims to mirror that for the Manchester site. The rest of the milk needed will come from Milk Marque and Scottish Milk.

"We are dedicated to the fresh milk business and have no intention of moving into other dairy products. That means we are totally focused on the premium end of the market," said Gordon Shaw, business development director.

Producers in the catchment area already have more than 10 outlets for their milk. Despite that competition Mr Shaw was confident of success.

"Our group strength has been built on our ability to develop strong relations with our farmer producers and, in turn, an ability to anticipate market trends," he said.

A Wiseman Partnership, like the one in Scotland, will be set up for England. &#42