Belfast Telegraph

Dairy co-op gains UK foothold

By David Elliot

Northern Ireland's biggest dairy cooperative is extending its reach across the Irish Sea.

United Dairy Farmers, which owns Dale Farm, has added dairy farmers in England and Scotland to its 1,800-strong Northern Ireland membership in an effort to "reposition United as a UK-wide farmer cooperative".

The milk supplied by the new members will be processed into pasteurised milk, yogurt and dessert products at Dale Farm's dairy plants in Kendal in Cumbria and Rowan Glen in Galloway, Scotland.

"Our sales of consumer products in Great Britain have witnessed record growth over the past year, mainly driven by sales of cheese, butter and spreads from our Northern Ireland plants," CEO David Dobbin said.

"The introduction of GB membership further strengthens our position as a national dairy business owned by farmers across the UK at a time when foreign-owned dairies are increasing their presence and control of the UK dairy market."

Dale Farm has three other processing plants at Pennybridge in Ballymena, Dunmanbridge at Cookstown and Dromona creamery at Cullybackey.