News briefs: Milk Link, Danone and sustainable dairy

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk link, Milk

This week, Milk Link mulls selling its Fresh dairy operations, Danone is fined over its deal for Numico, and Dairy UK highlights its focus on sustainability.

Milk Link on verge of creamery sale

UK cooperative Milk Link is in talks with French food and dairy group Andros to sell off one of its creameries in Somerset, England, in a bid to concentrate on its ingredient operations.

The company says that due diligence is now ongoing, with both parties expecting to complete the deal for the Staplemead plant by the end of the month.

Neil Kennedy, chief executive of Milk Link, said that should the sale go ahead, the move would be in line with the group’s overall strategy of focusing its production facilities on higher value dairy goods.

“The proposed sale of Staplemead is in line with our ingredient business strategy,”​ he stated. “It will allow us to leverage our Westbury Dairies joint venture by focusing all our skim milk powder and butter ingredients’ production at the facility and result in increased efficiencies and cost savings for the business.”

Milk Link’s Westbury site processes milk powder and butter, said the company.

The company says that the potential sale of the Staplemead site also reflects its exit from the fresh dairy sector.

Danone fined over Numico notification

Danone has been rapped on the knuckles by the Dutch market regulator AFM after it was judged to have not informed the market in sufficient time regarding its takeover bid for company Numico.

According to the Reuters news agency, Numico, which has now been taken over by Danone as part of its focus on being a more nutrition-led company, was fined €96,000 and its parent company €24,000 over allegations it had not properly notified relevant authorities.

In its purchase of the company last year, Numico’s shares were frozen on 9 July following news of the deal reaching the press before any official statement was released, Reuters said.

Dairy UK outlines future focus

In his inaugural speech as chairman of Dairy UK, Mark Allen says that sustainability across the board will be the core objective in the future for the association.

Allen stayed clear of the controversy regarding his appointment last week as a non-independent head for the association, keeping his sights firmly on the challenges he believes lie ahead for both farmers and processors alike.

“We must tackle the issue of sustainability on economic, environmental

and social grounds,”​ he stated. “That also means food security, and we’ll be making it clear in a forthcoming paper how government can support our dairy farmers and processors alike.”

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