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Milk Link restructures business

By Ben Bouckley , 22-Aug-2011
Last updated on 23-Aug-2011 at 12:51 GMT

Milk Link will adopt a new business structure from September that will see two core business units created, while the company has also made two senior appointments.

The business, which turned over £586m in 2010/11, and is owned by British dairy farmers, will create new ‘Milk Link, Cheese’ and ‘Milk Link, Milk’ divisions.

Carl Ravenhall, former md of Adams Foods, will join on September 1 to head up Milk Link's cheese business.

Shelagh Hancock, formerly Milk Link’s milk, trading and membership director, has also been appointed as Milk business unit director.

The company’s cheese business will incorporate its Cheddar creameries, packing facility at Oswestry and what it describes as a “growing speciality cheese and export businesses.”

The milk business unit will have responsibility for milk supply, trading, ingredients and a beverages business centred on producing long life and flavoured milks at its Crediton Dairy.

Whey dryer chamber

Milk Link ceo Neil Kennedy said: “Both business units will have their own dedicated sales and marketing and operational teams, whilst drawing on the skills and resources embedded in the key cross-group functions.

“This ... will deliver greater commercial and operational focus on our core revenue generating areas, and in turn drive a higher level of performance.”

A Milk Link joint venture with dairy nutrition firm Volac, MV Ingredients, saw the installation of a 20t whey dryer chamber at Milk Link's Taw Valley Creamery in Devon this month, as part of a £12m investment plan.

The company claims that MV Ingredients' whey processing facility – due to begin production in Autumn – will be the most advanced of its type in the UK.

While providing a platform for further growth and development of cheese, the firm is also planning to produce a "value-added" whey permeate product.

Volac already markets its Volactose Whey Permeate, a de-proteinised whey powder, which it says it especially suitable for reducing salt levels in bakery products.

Volac md James Neville said: “The developing market for added value whey products in Europe provides an exciting opportunity and we are delighted to be collaborating with one of Europe’s leading dairy processors in this joint venture”.

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