First Milk has invested a further £12.5 million investment in its cheese and whey processing facilities.
The investment includes £9 million at its Lake District Creamery in Aspatria and will see new high-capacity cheese blockformers installed, as well as new water, milk, cream and whey handling processes.
This marks the fourth stage of a multi-year investment totalling around £14 million at the Lake District site since 2019, which has seen major upgrades including a new rapid chill store and improvements to milk processing equipment.
Moreover, the wholly British farmer-owned dairy co-operative, has also invested £3.5 million at its Haverfordwest Creamery.
It will see a new chilled-water plant delivered, as well as a significant upgrade to the whey process.
This comes on the back of an £8 million investment in the Haverfordwest site, completed last year, which included a new cheese tower, separators, additional milk silos, as well as the installation of a combined heat and power plant.
Overall, this £30 million investment over the last three years will take processing capacity of both sites up by over 20% ensuring First Milk is well placed to meet the growing requirements of customers in the UK and in export markets.
“This investment programme will unlock additional capacity, whilst helping us further enhance our award-winning product quality,” said Chief Executive Shelagh Hancock.
“What’s more, this capital spend enables us to reduce energy and water use, helping us to meet our ambitious First4Milk environmental targets and reinforcing our commitment to sustainable dairy.
“Including these new projects, we will have invested around £30 million in our cheese production sites since 2018, ensuring our business is resilient and well-placed to meet the growing demand from our customers across the world, helping us to further improve the returns to our farmer members for the long-term.”