Source: Ehrmann 

The deal will see Ehrmann invest £20m in an upgrade of Trewithen’s manufacturing site as it seeks to increase its reach in the UK. From left: Trewithen owner Francis Clarke, Ehrmann chair Christian Ehrmann and Trewithen CEO Paul Berne

Cornish supplier Trewithen Dairy has been acquired by leading German dairy processor Ehrmann as part of a major push into the UK.

The deal – the value of which has not been disclosed – will see Ehrmann invest £20m to expand Trewithen’s dairy processing capacity and capabilities at its site in the Glynn Valley in Cornwall. It marks the culmination of a long courtship of Trewithen by Ehrmann, with the latest negotiations starting last November.

The upgraded facility, which is due to open in 2026, will allow the site to produce the full range of Ehrmann dessert products, such as its High Protein yoghurt, mousse and pudding ranges plus its Grand Dessert brand, using British milk, ultimately accounting for 15% of Ehrmann’s global sales each year.

Ehrmann has also committed to grow sales of Trewithen’s portfolio of branded and own-label Cornish dairy products as part of the deal, with a renewed push to take what is mainly a regional brand national across the UK.

Family-owned Ehrmann was established in 1920 in Bavaria and has since grown into a business boasting a €1.1bn-plus annual global turnover. It has a presence across 75 countries across the world and employs in excess of 3,500 staff. It said its guiding principle was to supply dairy products “from the family, for the family”.

New, skilled jobs at the Cornish manufacturing site would also be created in due course as the business grew, Ehrmann said, with the purchase securing the future of 260 existing roles.

Ehrmann first entered the UK market in 2022 with a range of its products sold in Aldi, Morrisons, Iceland and more recently, Co-op.

Acquiring the Trewithen business and beginning local production in Cornwall would accelerate its growth plans for the UK, said chairman Christian Ehrmann.

“Ehrmann has enjoyed success in the UK over the past two years working with major supermarket chains to bring new dairy tastes to consumers,” he added.

Localised production

“The acquisition is highly significant as it opens up local UK production; enabling us to reduce our carbon footprint and guarantee the freshness of our products. Choosing Trewithen’s impressively high-quality Cornish milk production, we’re delighted to bring German product innovation together with the very best of British milk.”

As part of the deal, Trewithen’s parent Cornish Farm Dairy Ltd has been renamed Ehrmann Cornish Dairy Ltd.

Trewithen Dairy CEO Paul Berne will stay on to head up a combined leadership of the business in the UK, while owner Francis Clarke, the son of founders Bill and Rachel Clarke, will also stay on in a senior role. His parents were taking the opportunity to retire, Berne said.

“We’re delighted we’re able to expand our offering, create more jobs in the local economy, and further bring the joy of quality Cornish produce to more tastebuds across the UK,” Berne said.

“The new products are already proven in other markets, so it’s great to be producing them with excellent British milk to be enjoyed by more British tastebuds.”

The expansion of the production plant would also give dairy farmers in the region a major, stable purchaser for Cornwall’s milk supply, paying a competitive milk price based upon a guaranteed premium, Trewithen said.


Source: Trewithen Dairy 

Trewithen this week launched a trio of yoghurt NPD into regional Tesco stores, boasting new branding and pack designs

“We’re incredibly proud of our roots in quality pastures and cows that produce some of the best milk in the world”, said Francis Clarke. “Quality and sustainable growth are core values we share deeply with our new colleagues at Ehrmann. That’s why we decided to join forces to breathe fresh air into the Cornish dairy industry as we enter our next phase of expansion.”

Trewithen parent Cornish Farm Dairy saw sales rise by 44.6% to 95.9m in the year to 30 April 2023, according to its most recent accounts, posted at Companies House.

A £3.7m pre tax loss in the previous accounting period narrowed to a £1.4m loss, on the back of strong growth within both branded and own label sales among new and existing customers.

The deal marks the latest bout of major investment in UK dairy processing this year. Arla has committed to a £300m investment in its manufacturing estate, including a big push into mozarella production, while Müller snapped up Yew Tree Dairy earlier this month.

It comes as Trewithen this week announced the launch of a trio of yoghurt NPD into Tesco stores across the south west of England – the first products to be rolled out in  rebranded packaging.

The new products, available in Greek, Strawberry & Clotted Cream and Peaches & Cream flavours, are all available in 450g pots (rsp: from £2.15). The launches follow Trewithen Dairy’s recent rebrand and showcase its new logo and standout packaging designs.