A £12.5m milk-bottling plant is to open in Pembrokeshire in December 2022, processing up to one million litres of milk weekly.
Pembrokeshire Creamery Limited (PCL) has started construction of its new 3,000sq m plant at the Pembrokeshire Food Park in Haverfordwest, a region of Wales with a high density of dairy farms.
It won’t be the only bottling facility at that location – Totally Welsh operates from the Withybush Industrial Estate, bottling milk for sale to small retail outlets and supermarket chains, garage forecourts and schools.
The new facility, however, will be British Consortium-accredited, and will supply to major supermarkets across Wales, which the company says will “reduce food miles, increase supply chain efficiency and support local farming and communities”.
Board member Huw Thomas, who is also chief executive officer of Haverfordwest-based Puffin Produce, said recent supply chain challenges had highlighted the weaknesses of extremely centralised processing models.
“We have a unique opportunity in Wales to decouple Welsh milk from English processors and bottle milk close to where it is produced, with the added benefit of supply resilience,” he said.
It is in part funded by £5m from the Welsh government’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – Food Business Investment Scheme.
The development is being supported by a team with extensive experience in the UK food supply chain, with board members including Martyn Mulcahy and David Dobbins, formerly of Robert Wiseman Dairies, and Mark Harrod of Fenmarc Produce, who has dairy farming operations in Pembrokeshire and is a board member of Puffin Produce.
The board is chaired by Rhys Iley, former vice-president of operations for Starbucks EMEA.