Bridge Cheese doubles capacity at UK base as First Milk strives to improve dairy supply chain efficiency

UK – Leading supplier of cheese products to UK food manufacturing and foodservice sectors, Bridge Cheese is expanding its Telford production facility to meet the needs of its new and existing customer base. 

 According to Dairy Reporter, the expansion works will see the company’s factory square footage increase by 35% as well as the installation of a new production line. 

 As part of the expansion works Bridge Cheese will also be rolling out a new business system to improve stock control and reporting.  

 Managing director Michael Harte said the decision to expand in Telford was the result of a year of growth and the company’s desire to be more flexible to customer needs.  

“This increased capability means that we can be flexible to our customers’ needs, scaling up our production as and when required,” said Harte.  

The company’s expansion comes on the back of increased demand for cheese for pizza and take-away products as consumers kept off restaurants and pubs. 

“Last year was a year that no-one saw coming but it was a defining moment for the takeaway food industry in particular and the increase in demand for pizza was a big plus for Bridge Cheese, as it’s one of our key markets,” Harte added. 

“However, we expect the landscape to shift again in 2021 as we head towards a wider economic recovery and more of our foodservice sector customers open their doors fully.”   

Harte said the company has also invested in product R&D over the last year and now has a wide range of cost-effective and functional cheese blends tailored to meet customer needs. 

First Milk enters supply chain efficiency project  

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Meanwhile, UK dairy company First Milk has partnered with Scotland Dairy service information provider NMR in a project aimed at improving the supply chain efficiency of UK’s dairy industry. 

The two companies will mainly focus on the provision and use of relevant data to improve dairy chain efficiency.  

The new partnership is part of the Digital Dairy Chain project which recently received funding from the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under its ‘Strength in Places’ fund.

The project is expected to encourage innovation-led growth using the latest technology to support advanced manufacturing processes and create fully integrated and traceable supply chains.   

“This project will support the full digitalization of the dairy supply chain in southwest Scotland and Cumbria from grass to glass,” said Mark Brooking from First Milk said.  

“This has the potential to deliver many benefits – from optimized and low-carbon logistics, which can reduce cost and environmental impact, to improved efficiency onfarm and in milk processing sites.” 

Set to run for five years, until 2026, the Digital Dairy Chain project focuses on developing an efficient and sustainable supply chain from farm to plate.  

NMR and First Milk will look to promote the project by sharing data as efficiently as possible.  

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