The £12.5m investment is supported by £5m of funding from the Welsh Government European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development – Food Business Investment Scheme. When the facility is operational in December 2022 the centre will have the capacity to bottle a million litres of milk per week in its first phase.
Designed to supply the major supermarkets across the whole of Wales, it will be the only BRC Standard facility to offer Welsh milk which is also bottled in Wales. This will reduce food miles, increase supply chain efficiency and support local farming and communities.
Huw Thomas, PCL shareholder and CEO of Puffin Produce said:
“I have always found it somewhat misleading for Welsh consumers that the milk sold by the major retailers is not processed in Wales – effectively it travels from Wales to England for bottling and then back to Wales. Our development can put an end to that, supporting Welsh farmers and the Welsh economy whilst increasing sustainability.”
“The current crop of supply chain difficulties has highlighted the weaknesses of extremely centralised processing models. We have a unique opportunity in Wales to decouple Welsh milk from English processors and bottle milk close to where it is produced with the added benefit of supply resilience,” he said.
The location of the new bottling centre in Pembrokeshire puts the facility at the heart of Wales’ highest density dairy milk producing area.
Rhys Iley, Chairman of Pembrokeshire Creamery commented:
“The Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire County Council have worked closely through the development of the Pembrokeshire Food Park, to attract significant food business investments such as this. It is therefore great to see this project, which we have been working on for a number of years, come to fruition.”
“Supplying the major supermarket retailers with Welsh milk that is bottled in Wales will help support the dairy farmers of West Wales during this period of rapid change and will also help create a longterm sustainable supply chain for Welsh consumers.”
The development is being supported by a team of highly experienced industry professionals, with extensive experience in the UK food retailer supply chain. Martyn Mulcahy and David Dobbins, previously PLC board directors of operations and commercial at Robert Wiseman Dairies, join the Pembrokeshire Creamery Ltd board. They are joined by Puffin Produce CEO Huw Thomas and Puffin Produce CFO Jon Langmead. The board will be chaired by Rhys Iley, former vice president of operations for Starbucks EMEA. Mark Harrod, owner of RE Farms Ltd and Fenmarc Produce Ltd and board member of Puffin Produce completes the team