Arla Foods has committed over £300 million between five of its UK sites with the aim of boosting UK manufacturing and the future of British dairy.

In addition to previously announced plans for its Taw Valley site, Arla Foods said it will update and expand its dairies and creameries at Lockerbie, Stourton, Aylesbury and Westbury.

The cooperative, owned by thousands of European dairy farmers, including around 2,000 in the UK, currently operates nine production sites across the country making a range of milk, butter, cheese and other dairy products.

Arla said the investments will see significant upgrades that secure the future of its sites and ensure that they can continue producing whilst adding the “most value possible” to the milk from its farmer owners.

The allocation of Arla funds is as follows:

  • Lockerbie – a £34 million upgrade project to implement new technology;
  • Stourton – £65 million investment to increase capacity on ESL milk and add functionality for producing milk in cartons;
  • Aylesbury – £8 million investment to add a new boxpacker;
  • Westbury – £15 million upgrade to the effluent treatment plant and powder dryer upgrade;
  • Taw Valley – £179 million to implement state of the art technology for mozzarella production.

Managing director of Arla Foods UK, Bas Padberg, said: “What this means, is that our farmer owners are investing in UK food security – as they are not only producing our milk, but they are backing this investment in our production sites.

“Dairy plays a significant role in the UK economy, with sales of dairy products exceeding £8 billion.”

Padberg said Arla is delighted to set out the plans for “continued vital investment” to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of its food production and to keep the nation’s favourite dairy products on supermarket shelves.


Vice president for production at Arla Foods, Fran Ball, said Arla is wholly committed to UK manufacturing to ensure it continues to produce dairy products that are “a staple in millions of fridges across the country”.

“The investments will allow us to make significant upgrades across our portfolio, making our facilities fit for the future of dairy production here in the UK,” she said.

Arla Foods UK board director, and Arla farmer, Arthur Fearnall, said: “We are incredibly proud of today’s announcement, which helps to futureproof the production of British dairy.

“We’re excited to see how the plans across our sites progress over the coming years, as we continue to work together to ensure all Arla farmer owners receive the best price for their milk.”

Padberg said Arla must also ensure it has a robust food supply chain for the UK market.

This, he said, starts with ensuring it can continue to return a “fair price” back to its farmer owners.

“As one of the biggest food companies in the UK, it is only natural that we look for further opportunities to grow, which includes strengthening our export opportunities,” he said.