# Dairy Co-ops In Merger To Create Britain’s Largest Milk Processor

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By GARETH MACKIE.DAIRY co-operatives Arla and Milk Link have agreed to join forces in a merger that will create Britain’s largest milk processor.
The combined business, to be branded Arla Milk Link, will process more than three billion litres of milk a year and have a combined turnover in excess of £2 billion.
Milk Link turned over £628m last year and has eight processing sites across the UK employing 1,300 people. Neil Kennedy Milk Link’s Chief Executive commented: «Milk Link’s 1,600 British dairy farmer members will have a stake in one of Europe’s largest and most successful dairy businesses and play a positive role in its future development.
«Our farmers will benefit from Arla Foods’ long term strategic vision, global scale, broad product and customer base and proven track record in investing in the development and growth of leading dairy brands.»
The co-operative, Britain’s largest cheese maker, saw sales of £628 million last year and employs some 1,200 staff. It is investing £20m in its Lockerbie Creamery to transform it into one of the country’s top cheddar production facilities.
Peter Lauritzen, Chief Executive of Arla Foods in the UK said: «Arla has a strong record of investing in facilities and brands in the UK. Together we will be able to offer British retail and foodservice customers with a full range of high quality dairy products from a single, secure, source, making us an even more attractive partner for British retailers.»
Arla is owned by Danish, German and Swedish dairy farmers and purchases 90 percent of its milk in the UK through a long-term contract with 1,300 farmers in the Arla Foods Milk Partnership.
“This move will be good for our farmers, our customers and their consumers and, ultimately, the British dairy industry” stated Lauritez of the merger.
The business, which produces the Anchor, Cravendale and Lurpak brands, employs 2,700 people in the UK and makes 2,500 deliveries a day to supermarkets across the country.
The proposed tie-up is subject to approval from regulatory authorities and Milk Link members, who are scheduled to vote on the merger June 26th.
Source: Scotsman
Posted on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 (Archive on Wednesday, May 30, 2012)
Posted by bsutton@adpi.org  Contributed by bsutton@adpi.org

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