CHESTER dairy supplier Meadow Foods has opened a new butter warehouse as part of its ongoing expansion plans.
The company, which is Britain’s largest independent supplier of butter, says the plant is the first step in a major capital investment programme that will help it to create new jobs and increase the volume of milk it processes by 75%.
The £500,000 temperature- controlled plant means Meadow, based at Marlston-Cum-Lache, just outside Chester, will be able to store its butter on site instead of shipping it to a rented storage plant in Shropshire.
The company, which has an annual turnover of £243m, says the move will allow it to cut costs and reduce its environmental impact by cutting more than 43,000 road miles every year.
Meadow produces more than 15,000 tonnes of butter each year. Its products are sold to food producers such as Northern Foods and Nestlé for use in everything from biscuits to ready meals.
Managing director Paul Deakin said: “We’ve seen demand from food manufacturing customers increase dramatically over recent years. This trend looks set to continue. Volatility in the global milk markets is driving many manufacturers to secure their supply of quality milk.
“We’re already stepping up farmer recruitment in Cheshire, Cumbria and North Wales, and by investing in our manufacturing sites we can ensure Meadow Foods is ideally placed to meet demand.”
Mr Deakin said Meadow was now talking to planners about plans to build more storage space at its Cheshire site.
As well as butter, Meadow also produces ghee clarified butter and anhydrous milk fat, used in ice cream, chocolates and some butters.