Dairy Dialog podcast 93: First Milk, Edlong, avocadomilk, Quicke’s

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy Dialog 93: First Milk, Edlong, avocadomilk, Quicke’s.  Photo of dip: Getty Images/5PH
Dairy Dialog 93: First Milk, Edlong, avocadomilk, Quicke’s. Photo of dip: Getty Images/5PH

Related tags Cheese cheesemakers Avocado plant-based plant-based dairy plant-based milk Milk Dairy

On the podcast this week, we have First Milk CEO, Shelagh Hancock, and CFO, Greg Jardine; Lourdes Mato, research scientist, and Lisa Power, director of marketing, at Edlong; Mary Quicke, from Quicke’s; and Terry Daly, co-founder of avocadomilk. [Photo of dip: Getty Images/5PH]

First Milk publishes annual report and financials       

UK dairy company First Milk has published its annual report and accounts for the year ending March 31, 2020.

First Milk said it is continuing to strengthen its milk price, while delivering growth in turnover, operating profit and net assets, as well as a reduction in net debt, further reinforcing its financial stability.

Group turnover rose by 4% to £282.8m, while operating profit was up 4% to £7.5m.  Net debt fell by 20% to £33.1m, and net assets increased by 25% to £39.8m.

Last year first Milk launched its First4Milk program, which outlined a range of commitments the company set out to meet by 2025. The company has since launched its First4Milk Pledge – a broader commitment to sustainable dairy.

The cooperative achieved an 11% reduction in CO2​ emissions year on year, and is 56% of the way to its 2025 targets. It also delivered an 11% reduction food waste and 12% improvement in energy efficiency.

It also completed a re-financing deal with Wells Fargo, extending its lending facilities to July 2024.

The company also closed its Campbeltown and Arran creameries in Scotland during 2019 after failing to find a buyer for the facilities.

Commenting on the results, chief executive, Shelagh Hancock, said, “The year ending 31 March 2020 saw us deliver business growth and development, further strengthening our financial position, whilst continuing to return value to our farmer members, who own the business. We have also launched our First4Milk Pledge – a broad commitment to sustainable dairy and a celebration of the leading standards on our members’ farms.

“Despite the uncertainties around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and with Brexit looming, First Milk is well-placed for the future, as a business that has strong collaborative partnerships and the scale to be relevant in the marketplace, whilst remaining agile and adaptable. Our vision for the future remains resolute – we are working together to deliver dairy prosperity.”

First Milk produces Cheddar, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester - the majority of which is sold through its partner, Ornua. We also export cheese to more than 26 countries.

In addition to cheese, the company produces bulk butter, cream and whey proteins, as well as supplying milk to dairy manufacturers and processors across the UK.

Edlong expands dairy-based natural flavors line

Edlong, an independent US-headquartered dairy flavor company, has announced the expansion of its line of dairy-based natural flavors.

Leveraging decades of dairy experience and expertise, Edlong and its partner clients can now tap into a variety of authentic-tasting, high-intensity cheese and cultured profiles for use in sauces, dressings, and dips.

"This is a true collaboration between Sensory, Applications, and R&D to deliver the best of both worlds: reducing or replacing dairy commodities, without sacrificing on taste,”​ said Lourdes Mato, Edlong dairy research scientist and project lead for dairy-based natural flavors.

“By specifically focusing our flavor performance expertise on sauces, dressings and dips, we can customize profiles to achieve truly authentic flavors that AI research confirms are predicted to be preferred over real cheese."

Sourced from real dairy, the line includes authentic cheese, sour cream, and buttermilk flavor profiles with multiple benefits: low usage levels and heat stable functionality, the option to reduce or replace dairy commodities for cost savings while increasing overall flavor impact, as well as potential natural labeling advantages.

The only certified woman-owned flavor house in the food manufacturing industry, Edlong offers a portfolio of dairy, dairy-based, and dairy-free flavors, applications and culinary support, regulatory compliance, and supply chain performance. The company said the portfolio improves taste profiles for cheese, butter, sweet dairy, cream, and milk, while also delivering unique functional value in the flavor and mouthfeel of sugar-reduced products.

avocadomilk broadens scope in US

avocadomilk started three years ago in New Zealand and quickly added the Australian market.

Now, the company has moved its operations to the US to tap into the growing dairy alternatives market there.

The product is available in two variants, original, which is green in color, and cacao. The drinks are low in sugar, and have an 11-month shelf-life.

avocadomilk is dairy free, preservative free, cholesterol free, lactose free, and contains no artificial colors or flavors.

The company sources its avocados from Mexico, and uses imperfect fruit yet pays 20% above market rate to the grower. The farms are all irrigated with rainwater only – no additional irrigation systems are used. All bottles are rPET, made from 100% recycled plastic, 100% vegetable inks are used for all labeling.

avocadomilk currently generate 1.7 tons of CO2​ in the production and delivery of its products each month. This carbon emission is offset by the planting of 104 new avocado trees every year.

British and German cheesemakers combine to create pioneering AlpenCheddar

UK-based cheesemaker Quicke’s has collaborated with Bavarian cheesemaker, Hofkäserei Kraus to produce a hybrid cheese.

Blending clothbound cheddar with Alpine cheese, AlpenCheddar brings together centuries of British and German cheesemaking tradition, with the first wedges available in the UK from July 28.

Made using a rare and highly experimental technique, Quicke’s Mature Cheddar is added to the curds during Hofkäserei Kraus’ traditional Alpine cheesemaking process, before the wheels are pressed into moulds. The wheels are then matured for three months.

Following months of tweaking, testing and maturation, the AlpenCheddar is now ready for market, with its sweet aroma and flavor notes starting with hazelnut, moving through sweetness and acidity, before ending with a bright apricot finish.

The cheese, which will be available in the UK on the Quicke’s website for next-day delivery at £7 ($8.88) per 200g wedge, is semi-hard with an orangey-brown natural rind and a smattering of air holes.

Additionally, the AlpenCheddar Story Box will be available exclusively online, priced at £30 ($38) including delivery, containing 200g wedges of AlpenCheddar, Quicke’s Mature Clothbound Cheddar and Alp Blossom, the flower-coated cheese of Hofkäserei Kraus that forms the base of AlpenCheddar.

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