Farmer-owned dairy co-op Dairy Farmers of Britain has moved into the processing premier league with a £75m deal to acquire the UK’s fourth largest dairy business.
The acquisition of Associated Co-operative Creameries has created the UK’s largest vertically integrated dairy co-operative and proved that farmers were prepared to invest in shortening the supply chain and protecting their route to market, said DFB chairman Rob Knight. “This is one hell of statement. Farmers are creating their own destiny.”
Although dairy products had become commoditised, there were big opportunities in added value and branded products, and money was available for investment in all areas of the business, said Knight.
“With our increased scale, we can now engage in broader discussions with all retailers.”
Owned by 3,250 dairy farmers, Dairy Farmers of Britain was formed in July 2002 from the merger of the Milk Group and Zenith Milk and has processing facilities in Chard, Peterborough and Westbury. ACC has seven processing sites.