Arla to invest more than £300m into UK sites

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Arla's Lockerbie site (pictured) has been promised £34 million's worth of a £300+ investment
Arla's Lockerbie site (pictured) has been promised £34 million's worth of a £300+ investment

Related tags Investment Trade

On the day of the Farm to Fork Summit, the dairy giant has said it will be injecting money into four of its sites across the UK, in addition to its previously announced plans for its Taw Valley site.

The money will be used to update and expand Arla Food’s dairies and creameries at Lockerbie, Stourton, Aylesbury and Westbury, as it looks to create more opportunities for British milk and cheese production.

Alongside the £179m investment into Taw Valley announced in March​, which will see the business capitalising on the potential for exporting its mozzarella, this brings Arla’s total UK investment for 2024 to more than £300m.

At Arla’s site in Stourton, the updates will expand Arla’s capabilities in extended shelf life (ESL) milk, particularly the Cravendale and BoB brands, as well as plans to introduce capability to supply milk in cardboard cartons. As a result of the £65m investment, Arla says the site will produce enough additional milk to fill the equivalent of 560m bowls of cereal!

Lockerbie will see the next big slice of of the investment pie, with £34m promised to fund new technology, gearing the site up for expansion and growth.

Westbury will see a £15m upgrade to the effluent treatment plant and powder dryer improvements, as it the business explores export opportunities.

Finally, the Aylesbury facility, which is the UK’s biggest fresh milk site producing more than 1m bottles of milk daily, will get additional automated box packing capabilities with £8m to give further packaging format flexibility.

Bas Padberg, managing director of Arla Foods UK said the investments represent the cooperative’s move to strengthen its investment into UK food security.  

“Dairy plays a significant role in the UK economy, with sales of dairy products exceeding £8bn,”​ he continued. “On the day of the Farm to Fork Summit we are delighted to set out plans for continued vital investment in our business worth tens of millions of pounds, ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of food production and keeping the nation’s favourite dairy products on our supermarket shelves.

“We must also ensure we have a robust food supply chain for the UK market – and this starts with ensuring we can continue to return a fair price back to our farmer owners. As one of the biggest food companies in the UK, it is only natural that we look for further opportunities to grow, which includes strengthening our export opportunities.”

Earlier in the year, Arla was crowned Food Manufacture's Food and Beverage Manufacturer of the year, alongside winning two other accolades at the 2024 ceremony. Read the exclusive interview with Fran Ball here.

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