It represents the largest single investment in Scottish dairy processing for more than a decade.
It gives Müller’s Bellshill dairy the capacity to process more than 370m liters of fresh milk and cream each year with milk provided by 230 Scottish dairy farmers.
The project includes a new filling hall to make cream products, two additional fresh milk production lines bringing the number of lines to nine, energy-efficient cooling systems and an extended chill-space to increase capacity for finished products.
Six additional raw milk and finished milk tanks added to the site will take the storage space to 1.8m liters.
The project is part of a plan by Müller to create a profitable, progressive and efficient fresh milk business in Britain, with new capabilities to make what the company said is ‘the next generation of fresh milk, cream and flavored milk products.’
Bellshill, close to Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, is the only Scottish dairy with the ability to manufacture milk bottles on site that are 100% light-weighted and recyclable. It also makes products using recyclable Tetra Pak cartons made with paperboard, a renewable raw material.
The wholly owned on-site bottle manufacturing capability, which was acquired as part of the investment, cuts down unnecessary movements of vehicles and gives Müller the means to further accelerate a reduction in the use of plastic and increase the use of recycled plastic in its bottles to a target of 50% by 2020. Müller has already reached 40% recycled material use in its bottles.
Müller’s three-year program to create a centre of excellence for dairy in Scotland at Bellshill involved the closure of outdated dairies in Aberdeen and East Kilbride.
Müller Milk & Ingredients CEO Patrick Müller said, “We are unique in Scotland in that our 100% recyclable packaging is not shipped in from miles away. It’s manufactured in an adjacent site before being directly passed to our filing lines.
“It’s clear however that in terms of profitability, the fresh milk sector has reached a tipping point. Change is required because if processing goes, it’s gone forever. We are confident that Müller will succeed in this environment because we are well invested, progressive and efficient.”
He added Müller has strategic partnerships with customers and farmers, allowing the company to lead with a comprehensive agricultural and quality agenda and with innovative ways to avoid and recycle plastic.