16 August 1999
United Milk into processing — in a big way
By FWi staff
UNITED MILK has announced plans to move into processing by building the UKs largest custom-made milk-processing plant.
The farmer-owned co-operative claims a state-of-the-art liquid-milk processing plant would offer all the economic advantages of improved production efficiencies, as well as allowing access to leading major multiple retailers.
Outlining United Milks strategic development plans chief executive, Don Morris said the current milk buying arrangements were no longer a viable option for milk producers.
“Farmgate prices continue to be eroded and producers ability to reverse this position is currently non-existent.
“The only realistic way forward is for producers to take control and enter into milk processing on a significant scale themselves. I believe United Milk is ideally places to do so,” he added.
The group wants to move into processing as soon as possible and financial plans are already being drawn up to raise the necessary capital.
Mr Morris pointed out that farmer-owned and controlled processing businesses are by no means a new concept. “We easily forget that they are the norm in many countries in the world.”
In the UK there are a number of organisations before us who have chosen this route but few have been of a sufficient scale or had the necessary key commercial strengths to have real influence in the changing market place, he added.