Bridge of Allan-based Graham’s revealed last week that it was undertaking a “major investment programme” to expand its butter plant ahead of new launches in 2011.
Md Robert Graham (pictured) told FoodManufacture.co.uk “The new butter plant infrastructure is nearing completion and will be fully operational by the end of the year.”
Graham said his family-owned firm was the UK’s only Scottish organic butter producer, and added: “This major investment also features new chilling and freezer facilities to expand our storage facilities in Bridge of Allan.
“This will allow us to increase our production capabilities and we’ll be expanding our butter product range during 2011.”
Claymore Dairies acquisition
The acquisition of Balmakeith-based Claymore Dairies takes Graham’s turnover above £50m and staffing levels past 400.
Claymore produces Highland Fresh dairy products and employs 70 staff at Balmakeith and distribution depots in Dingwall, Fort William and Wick.
It had long been struggling, and a management buy-out of the firm from former 75% stakeholder Arla Foods in February led to the loss of 65 jobs.
Graham said that taking over Claymore gave Graham’s the chance to pursue new product initiatives, ramp-up milk production volumes and save money.
He said the firm could now: “take the opportunity to review its distribution requirements for the north of Scotland and ensure that the most efficient and cost effective means of delivery are created.”
Graham’s products are currently distributed via four depots across Scotland, while retailers also collect products directly from the Bridge of Allan farm site.
Graham’s produces over 360,000 pints of milk per day, and its product range encompasses branded and private-label organic and conventional milk, butters, creams, as well as ice cream and Jersey-sourced dairy products.
The firm supplies Asda, Tesco, Somerfield (The Co-op Group), Waitrose and Lidl as well as leading independents. But Sainsbury’s is the firm’s largest customer, where Graham’s supplies all the supermarket’s own-label organic milk and Scottish cream.