Adams Foods, one of the UK's leading suppliers of cheese has announced that it is to enter a strategic partnership with First Milk, the country's largest farmer-owned dairy co-operative.
The deal will allow the two companies combine their respective skills and specialisms to set up a fully integrated supply chain for cheese in the UK retail foodservice and wholesale sectors.
It will also see Adams Foods use its facility at Leek in Staffordshire to cut, pack and market 50,000 tonnes of cheese, much of which will be produced by First Milk's award-winning Lake District and Haverfordwest creameries.
Ian Toal, chief executive of Adams Foods said: “Today’s announcement is a further important move towards our strategic vision of becoming one of the leading suppliers of cheese in the UK and will increase our turnover to in excess of £500 million.
He added that it also showed that the company was dedicated to the idea of supporting the British cheese markets and the growing customer base that comes with it.
The terms of the partnership will see Adams Foods pay a competitive price for the cheese produced by First Milk, while also making it easier to provide additional investment at First Milk's creameries to make sure that they reach the highest standard possible within the British dairy industry.
It will also serve to strengthen the position of Adams Foods as a leading supplier of cheese from both Britain and Ireland, while increasing its turnover to more than £500 million per annum.
The facility in Leek could also see a significant upturn in volumes of cheese packing, meaning that the partnership could not only lead to further investment, but may also create more jobs, as well as more opportunities for its existing 600-strong workforce.
Kate Allum, Chief Executive of First Milk commented: “This partnership is directly in line with our strategic objective of adding value and delivering a sustainable future for our farmers. It not only enables us to work with a partner to deliver a short, integrated supply chain, but most importantly guarantees secure returns for our members’ milk."