Britain’s biggest dairy company is to invest over £300m at four of its sites in 2024.

In addition to previously announced plans for its Taw Valley site, Arla Foods will update and expand its dairies and creameries in four locations as it looks to create more opportunities for British milk and cheese production.

Owned by thousands of European dairy farmers, including around 2,000 in the UK, the co-operative currently operates nine production sites across the country, making a range of milk, butter, cheese and other dairy staples.

The investments will see significant upgrades that secure the future of its sites and ensure they can continue producing world-leading products while adding the most value possible to the milk from its farmer owners.

Expand and upgrade production

In Taw Valley, the investment will allow the business to capitalise on the potential for export around the world.

At Arla’s site in Stourton, the upgrades will expand Arla’s capabilities in extended shelf life milk, particularly the Cravendale and BoB brands, as well as introduce a capability to supply milk in cardboard cartons.

As a result of the investment, the site will produce enough additional milk to fill the equivalent of 560m bowls of cereal.

Aylesbury, which is the UK’s biggest fresh milk site producing more than 1m bottles of milk daily, will get additional automated box packing capabilities, allowing customers to have greater flexibility with packaging formats.

Managing director of Arla Foods UK Bas Padberg commented: “What this means is that our farmer owners are investing in UK food security – as they are not only producing our milk, but they are backing this investment in our production sites. Dairy plays a significant role in the UK economy, with sales of dairy products exceeding £8bn.”

Vice-president for production at Arla Foods Fran Ball commented: “The investments will allow us to make significant upgrades across our portfolio, making our facilities fit for the future of dairy production here in the UK.”