Muller Milk and Ingredients has been created following Muller Wiseman Dairies’ takeover of Dairy Crest’s (DC) dairies business, which was finalised at the end of last year.
There are also big changes for Dairy Crest Direct (DCD), the dairy producer organisation (DPO) which represented 1,020 farmers supplying 1.5 billion litres of milk to DC.
Managing director of Muller Milk and Ingredients, Andrew McInnes, believed the new business – which employs 10,000 people, has 13 dairies and processes 25 per cent of UK milk – must adapt to the pressures of the marketplace.
He said: “It is important to recognise the status quo, particularly in the fresh milk sector, was not working and we must therefore identify and make the changes and savings required to build a combined business which is sustainable, successful and vibrant.”
Focusing on what the company needs to achieve, he said a strategy for the business would be unveiled in due course.
Muller is also renaming its Muller Dairy yoghurt and chilled desserts business as Muller Yogurt and Desserts.
The purchase of DC’s dairies business will see 660 farmers transfer from the company to Muller.
Where farmer representation was concerned, DCD will continue to represent farmers in south west England who stay with DC and supply its Davidstow Creamery in Cornwall which produces Cathedral City cheese and demineralised whey powder.
In addition, a brand new company, Direct Milk DPO, has been established to represent DCD members transferring from Dairy Crest to Muller who supply about 1bn litres of milk a year via standard liquid, liquid formula, organic and aligned contracts for Marks and Spencer, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.
David Herdman, chairman of the existing DCD, transfers to become the inaugural chairman of Direct Milk, while current DCD vice-chairman, Stephen Bone, will become chairman of DCD at Davidstow.
Mark Allen, chief executive of DC, added: “Dairy Crest can now focus on growth through our branded cheese and spreads operations and new revenue streams from manufacturing products for the fast-growing global infant formula market.”