New bottling plant to open in Wales

A former creamery in Carmarthenshire is set to open as a milk bottling plant.

The Proper Welsh Milk Company, which is backed by farmer-owned co-operative Calon Wen, has written to farmers seeking suppliers for the new £1.4m dairy unit at Whitland.

The former Dairy Crest site closed in 1994, with the loss of 150 jobs.

Proper Welsh’s procurement and recruitment director, Dai Miles, said the company had secured listings with Tesco stores across Wales, together with other leading multiples.

“We will be paying 28p/litre for a level supply of milk, with bonuses for quality, and there will be no transport charges,” said Mr Miles, a Pembrokeshire organic milk producer.

Milk from west Wales farms is currently transported hundreds of miles for bottling before travelling back to Wales. The aim of the new venture is to reduce the distance raw milk travels for processing.

“We believe, in short, that we can take out almost 360 miles from the chain, more if you consider that bulk tankers currently run empty into Wales to collect and that square box lorries often run empty back to middle England after their own deliveries are done,” said Mr Miles.

The bottling plant is keen to sign up farmers with a level milk supply. Around 10 people will be employed at the plant initially, rising to 60 over five years.