Welsh processing sector under the spotlight

Published 7 October 11

A new scoping study of the Welsh dairy processing sector has revealed that 51 per cent of the milk produced in Wales is processed in Wales.

This is one of many facts that have come to light from the study which is part of the 'Improving the Welsh Dairy Supply Chain' project.

The study was completed by Promar International, on behalf of DairyCo with input from the Welsh Government. It aims to map-out the current position of the dairy processing sector in Wales, as a comprehensive analysis of the Welsh dairy industry has not been completed since 2006.

Head of dairy development Wales Delyth Davies said: "This report will now provide a comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the processing sector in Wales. This will provide the private and public sector with the information required to develop future strategies, policies and programmes."

One factor that came under the spotlight during the research was the production and utilisation of Welsh milk. Analysis of milk intakes from Wales and England based milk processors suggested that around 51% (742 million litres) of the milk produced in Wales is processed in dairy factories located in Wales. The balance, 49% (approximately 708 million litres), is transported to England for processing. Of the milk processed in England, around 190 million litres (13% of total Welsh Milk production) is transported back to Wales to be sold as 'Welsh' milk for sale in supermarkets, other retailers and foodservice outlets.

Although Wales is a large 'exporter' of milk for processing, the borderless nature of some milk fields, particularly those in North East Wales, means that some milk produced on farms in England is also transported into Wales (imported) for processing. The information captured in this study shows that around 130 million litres of milk from farms located in England are processed in Wales. It is also worth noting that much smaller volumes of other dairy products such as butter, whey and cheese are imported into Wales for further processing or packing.

Most of the milk processed in Wales is converted into cheese. According to the study in 2011, it is estimated that Wales produced over 80,000t of cheese, accounting for almost 90% of the milk processed in Wales. Cheddar and mozzarella/pizza cheese are the two main cheese products made in Wales. Of the remaining 10%, liquid milk represented just over 6% of all the milk processed in Wales.

A range of dairy products ranging from yoghurts, clotted creams, ice cream, butter as well as other dairy products made in Wales collectively accounts for around 4% of the milk processed in Wales. Welsh Government Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Alun Davies AM said: "Improving the Welsh dairy supply chain is a vital piece of work for the dairy industry. A recently completed scoping study has given an excellent picture of the industry at the moment which will help to inform the action we need to take to develop a sustainable supply chain for Welsh milk from farm gate to the consumer." Ends.

NOTE TO EDITORS:

For further information please contact Menna Davies, DairyCo Communications Officer Wales on 07875 098173 or menna.davies@dairyco.ahdb.org.uk

The 'Improving the Welsh Dairy Supply Chain' project is made possible through the Supply Chain Efficiencies Scheme (SCES) of the Rural Development Plan (RDP) for Wales 2007- 2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

A Welsh language version of this press release is available on request. Please contact Menna Davies on 07875 098173 or menna.davies@dairyco.ahdb.org.uk