By Olivia Cooper

ZENITH Milk is to join the rising number of co-ops investing in dairy processing.

Members of the co-op, which markets nearly 1.3bn litres of milk annually, agreed that they needed to integrate fully into the supply chain, after an in-depth review by Rabobank, the worlds leading experts on co-operative structure.

“With the challenges facing the diary industry over the next few years we have to have an investment further along the production chain,” says chairman John Cook.

“This will reduce costs along the line and secure a better milk price for our members in the long term.”

The co-op is now seeking potential partners and investment projects.

Members will be offered preference shares to raise capital funds for the scheme, and will vote at an extraordinary AGM early next year.

Milk Link and United Milk recently announced they are also venturing into processing after overwhelming member support.