UK– Dairy company Müller UK & Ireland has completed a £15 million project to substantially upgrade its dairy plant in Bellshill, Scotland, thereby securing 265 jobs at Scotland’s largest fresh milk dairy.
The project by Müller Milk & Ingredients represents the largest single investment in Scottish dairy processing for more than a decade, says Müller.
The investment gives the dairy the capacity to process more than 370 million litres of fresh milk and cream each year.
It includes a new filling hall to make cream products, two additional fresh milk production lines, energy efficient cooling systems and an extended chill space to increase capacity for finished products; the work also created facilities for employees on the site.
It also included the addition of six additional raw milk and finished milk tanks to the site, taking storage space to 1.8 million litres of milk and the acquisition of an adjacent bottle manufacturing facility.
“We are unique in Scotland in that our 100% recyclable packaging is not shipped in from miles away. It’s manufactured in an adjacent site before being directly passed to our filing lines.”Müller Milk & Ingredients CEO Patrick Müller.
Müller says that with the future sustainability of the fresh milk processing sector being debated in the industry in the UK, the project is part of a plan the dairy’s plan to create a profitable, progressive and efficient fresh milk business in the country, with new capabilities to make the next generation of fresh milk, cream and flavoured milk products.
The plant is the only Scottish dairy with the ability to manufacture milk bottles on site which are 100% light-weighted and recyclable, says Muller. It also makes products using recyclable Tetra Pak cartons.
“We are unique in Scotland in that our 100% recyclable packaging is not shipped in from miles away. It’s manufactured in an adjacent site before being directly passed to our filing lines,” said Müller Milk & Ingredients CEO Patrick Müller.
He however, says that the dairy sector needs more efficient processes to survive in a tough environment.
“It’s clear however that in terms of profitability, the fresh milk sector has reached a tipping point. Change is required because if processing goes, it’s gone forever. We are confident that Müller will succeed in this environment because we are well invested, progressive and efficient,” he said.
The wholly owned on-site bottle manufacturing facility accelerates the reduction in the use of plastic and increase the use of recycled plastic in its bottles, says Muller.
The company target to reach 50% recycled material use in its fresh milk HDPE bottles by 2020, from 40% currently.
Milk caps used at the dairy are now a tint, not a solid colour, to improve the quality of recyclate, says Muller.
The investment in Müller’s Bellshill site comes after the dairy closed outdated dairies in Aberdeen and East Kilbride, both in Scotland.