11 February 2000

Wiseman goes on the attack

ROBERT Wiseman Dairies believes the recently announced Competition Commission inquiry, investigating the supply of fresh milk to the middle market in Scotland, is a direct result of other dairy firms trying to undermine its expansion plans further south.

Alan Wiseman, chairman, said: "We are confident that the Competition Commission will find that Wiseman has not behaved in an anti-competitive way, but merely responded commercially to competitor activity which, we believe, represents an attempt to deter us from our expansion in England."

North of the border, Wiseman, which controls about 70% of the Scottish milk market, has been locked in a price battle with Express Dairies.

But he insisted that the diversionary tactics would not work. Wiseman opened its Manchester dairy in 1995, now processing 320m litres of milk a year.

It intends to build a 400m litre a year plant in Droitwich, near Birmingham, which should be operational by next spring. &#42