A2 Milk UK hopes to restore the supply of its a2 brand fresh milk to retailers by the end of this week, following a fire at Müller Wiseman Dairies' Droitwich plant that brought its packing operations to a halt.
Operations were brought to a halt last week when a fire tore through Müller Wiseman Dairies’ milk processing plant in Droitwich in Worcestershire last week.
Around 75 firefighters battled with the fire, according to the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.
A2 Milk UK is a joint venture between Müller Wiseman Dairies and Auckland, New Zealand-based A2 Corporation to market a2 milk in Britain and Ireland. a2 milk comes from cows specially selected to produce milk containing A2 beta-casein protein, but not the A1 beta-casein protein which has been linked with digestion and health issues
In a statement issued earlier today, Geoffrey Babidge, managing director of A2 Corporation, announced that following the activation of a contingency plan for the processing of Droitwich milk volumes, packing of a2 milk has resumed.
A2 Milk UK hopes to have supply to retailers “fully restored during this week.”
“A2 Corporation wishes to advise that contact packing of a2 fresh milk for the A2 Milk UK joint venture has recommenced at an alternate milk processing facility following a fire at the Muller Wiseman Dairies Droitwich facility in Worcestershire,” said Babidge.
“An alternate contract packing facility has been engaged to process milk on behalf of the joint venture for the immediate term. This facility is a modern well established facility located within a reasonable distance from Droitwich and the a2 milk supplier base. Changes to the supply chain to accommodate the change in processor are under way,” he added.
“Little trouble purchasing a2 milk”
Under the joint venture between A2 Corporation and Müller Wiseman Dairies, a2 milk is currently distributed to around 950 retail outlets up and down the UK.
Following the Droitwich fire, A2 Milk UK issued a statement to consumers reassuring them that all efforts were being made to restore the flow of milk to supermarkets.
“Please be informed that you may have a little trouble purchasing a2 milk over the next couple weeks, due to a fire at one of our processing sites,” said an announcement posted on the company’s website.
“We are here to answer any questions you may have and we are doing everything we can to meet the country’s ever-growing demand for a2 milk," the earlier statement added.
“Keep the milk flowing”
Late last week, Müller Wiseman Dairies announced the implementation of measures to maintain its supply of fresh milk until processing can resume at Droitwich.
In response, Müller Wiseman Dairies increased fresh milk processing across its remaining operational facilities and secured temporary packing agreements with other processors.
“Our priority is to keep the milk flowing to customers while we assess and repair the damage,” said Müller UK & Ireland CEO, Ronald Kers.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure service levels are as close to the exceptionally high levels our customers have come to expect. These measures will remain in place until such a time as the recovery plans are fully complete,” Kers added.