Dairy Crest investing £85 million in cheese business
The investment will allow further growth of the company’s market-leading cheese brands Cathedral City and Davidstow, enhance whey production capacity and support farmers and economic growth in the South West.
Ultimately, the investment will enable Dairy Crest to process an additional 200 million litres of milk every year, increasing the company’s annual cheese production capacity from 54,000 tonnes to 77,000 tonnes over the next four to five years.
The company’s whey production at the site, largely used for the global infant formula market, will grow proportionally.
This increase in capacity at Davidstow, which employs around 200 people, will enable Dairy Crest to respond to the growing cheese market in the UK, including convenience and snacking products, and on growing demand internationally in Europe, China, the US and the Far East.
The investment is good news for the 330 dairy farmers in Devon and Cornwall who supply Dairy Crest. The company wants to work closely with these farmers to grow milk volumes which will create a further boost for the region’s rural economy.
In close consultation with its independent dairy producer organisation, Dairy Crest Direct, the company has recently introduced a new milk pricing schedule which will be simpler to manage and will reward those farmers who supply milk with the most suitable composition for the manufacture of the company’s cheeses and demineralised whey.
Dairy Crest has also invested in its Farm Business Team, which liaises directly with farmers, to support them at this time of growth.
The investment in Davidstow will also reduce the environmental impact of the creamery by reducing significantly its water usage, increasing the amount of water recycled back into the creamery and becoming more energy resilient. ■