Amelca's vertical vision comes on stream Amelca's state of the art £19m dairy at Dove Valley Business Park, Derbyshire, is due to be officially opened next week by DEFRA secretary of state Margaret Beckett. The ambition of the dairy farmers behind Amelca was to create a company that provided a true producer-processor partnership, offering a more secure, premium-rated pricing structure and giving dairy farmer shareholders more control over their own destiny. The business model is a "fine example" of vertical integration, said md Len Jackson: "The group of farmers wanted to improve both the industry and their own lot by investing in modern milk processing. "Through investment in efficient, modern equipment Amelca will supply a top quality product and return a premium price to our farmer suppliers. The plant can switch production between liquid milk and cheese to cope with the seasonal fluctuation in milk production and the demands of the marketplace." The site is supplied by 150 farmers producing 150 million litres of milk a year in a 25-mile radius. The plant is automated and capable of handling over 200 million litres of milk annually. It will operate 16 hours daily but will be capable of 24-hour operation. Commissioning of the liquid processing plant took place last month with deliveries of milk starting now. Production of cheese is expected to start in July. {{CANNED GOODS }}