One of the country’s biggest farmer-owned co-operatives, Dairy Farmers of Britain, is hoping to challenge the likes of Cathedral City and Cravendale with a foray into brands.
Owned by 3,250 farmers, the group has ambitions to become a major branded player over the next three to five years with milk, cheese, yoghurt and crème frâiche under a Dairy Farmers of Britain banner.
It’s starting with a range of Cheddar cheeses in mild, mature and extra mature variants in 200g and 400g packs, to be sold in the multiples from November under a Farmers Best sub-brand.
DFB acquired Associated Co-operative Creameries last year, which gave it the production
facilities to consider a move from own label and regional to branded products, offering higher margins to members, and enter into broader discussions with national retailers.
DFB group commercial director Andrew Cooksey said: “Our new national brand identity, combined with our exciting product innovation plans, will ensure we realise our strategic objective of becoming a major branded dairy player.” Although the branded dairy arena is increasingly crowded, consumer research showed there was a gap for quality produce that allowed people to form an emotional connection with British farming, according to the marketing director of DFB, Ric Simcock.
“We realised that if we were going to take on the best brands we would have to offer the consumer differentiation and be very competitive,” he said.
“The brand name has huge appeal and conveys traditional methods, natural ingredients and a delicious taste. Consumers are happy to support British dairy farming, but that’s not enough - the aim is to make the best farmer-produced products possible.”
Claire Hu