Theo Müller Snr (pictured left), owner of Müller Group, was on hand to officially open a major new £17m butter-making plant in Shropshire that takes the Group into butter for the first time. Speaking at the launch, Müller said that his company was making substantial progress in theUKandIrelandand the new factory was proof of his belief in the market.
The Group has acquired Scottish fresh milk processor Wiseman Dairies as well as a chilled desserts facility in Minsterley and NomUK’s yogurt manufacturing facility inTelfordin recent times.
The new butter plant will initially manufacture 25kg and 10kg blocks of salted, unsalted and lactic butter for the food manufacturing and food ingredient industries but the factory is alos due to have a packet butter operation installed so that it can also offer 250 gram products to the retail sector from early summer 2014.
Müller commented: “It is almost 21 years since our initial investment in the yogurt factory here in Market Drayton and the introduction to the UK of Müller Corner and whilst there is a lot to do, I feel that we are now coming of age in theUK&Ireland. By investing in new products and highly efficient manufacturing facilities, we aim to offer customers the means by which their consumers can access great dairy products made inBritainwith milk produced by British dairy farmers.”
Speaking at the event, the Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP forNorth Shropshireand Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (pictured, right), said: “My priorities for DEFRA are growing the rural economy and improving the environment. Key to this is adding value to basic agricultural raw materials such as milk. Müller provides a spectacular example of both adding value and growing their business. Another key element of our strategy is to replace imports, as 24% of the food eaten in theUKis imported, but could be produced here. The new £17m butter plant is a typically bold venture by Müller and a massive step towards delivering our priorities. It is also excellent news for local dairy farmers and a great credit to the skilled Market Drayton workforce who have played such a key role in this national success story.”
Ronald Kers, Chief Executive of MüllerUK& Ireland Group, added: “Britainis one of the world’s great milk producing nations yet it is reliant on more than £2bn of dairy products sourced from continental Europe andIreland. This represents a major opportunity for well invested dairy companies in theUKand for dairy farmers inBritain. We know that there is domestic and international demand for great British butter produced with cream from Red Tractor Farm Assured British milk and this new facility will allow us to add value and satisfy this demand. “