This represents the largest single investment in Scottish dairy processing for more than a decade.
The project includes a new filling hall to make cream products, two additional fresh milk production lines, energy-efficient cooling systems, and an extended chill space to increase capacity for finished products. The work also included the creation of modern facilities for 265 employees on the site.
The investment gives Müller’s Bellshill dairy the capacity to process more than 370 million litres of fresh milk and cream each year, with milk provided by 230 Scottish dairy farmers. It is part of Müller’s three-year programme to create a centre of excellence for dairy in Scotland at Bellshill, which also involved the closure of outdated dairies in Aberdeen and East Kilbride.
Müller Milk & Ingredients CEO Patrick Müller said: “Fresh milk deserves to be celebrated. It’s a fantastic, healthy natural product and an essential part of British life.
“Milk from our Bellshill dairy is sourced from local farmers who shape our landscape and our environment. It’s in fridges less than two days after leaving farms because of our investment in processing and logistics infrastructure.”
Bellshill is the only Scottish dairy with the ability to manufacture milk bottles on-site, which are 100% light-weighted and recyclable. It also makes products using recyclable Tetra Pak cartons made with paperboard, a renewable raw material.
The wholly owned on-site bottle manufacturing capability allows Müller to cut down on unnecessary movements of vehicles and gives the business the means to further accelerate a reduction in the use of plastic and increase the use of recycled plastic in its bottles to a target of 50% by 2020. Müller has already reached 40% recycled material use in its bottles.
“We are unique in Scotland in that our 100% recyclable packaging is not shipped in from miles away. It’s manufactured in an adjacent site before being directly passed to our filing lines,” added Müller.
“It’s clear, however, that in terms of profitability, the fresh milk sector has reached a tipping point. Change is required because if processing goes, it’s gone forever. We are confident that Müller will succeed in this environment because we are well invested, progressive and efficient.
“Müller has strategic partnerships with customers and farmers. This allows us to lead with a comprehensive agricultural and quality agenda and with innovative ways to avoid and recycle plastic.”