Anglo-Irish venture to develop creamery

29 June 2001

Anglo-Irish venture to develop creamery

FIRST Milk and Dairygold are joining forces to develop Aeron Valley Cheese.

The Anglo-Irish joint venture means the two companies will become partners in the recently refurbished creamery, which First Milk, Britains largest farmer-owned dairy business, acquired from Milk Marque at the beginning of June. Dairygold is one of Irelands leading farmer co-ops.

"This exciting joint venture partnership will drive forward the expansion of the business," said First Milk chairman John Duncan. Aeron Valley produces 10,000t of cheese a year.

No further details of the agreement are available.

First Milk was formed from the merger of Axis and Scottish Milk. It has about 4500 farmer members and markets about 2.2bn litres of milk a year.

Dairygold has 5600 farmer members and its enterprises include Haslington Cheese, Crewe and the Horlicks cheese business in Somerset.

Welsh dairy farmers gave the launch of the joint venture an enthusiastic welcome.

Robert Voyle, chairman of the Farmers Union of Waless milk and dairy produce committee, said it was excellent news for the factory and west Wales dairy farmers.

The union had opposed the possibility of the sale of Aeron Valley to Dairy Crest, and believed that a partnership between farmer-owned co-ops from both sides of the Irish Sea would provide new production and marketing opportunities. &#42

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