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Müller completes largest single investment in Scottish dairy processing in a decade

Press release   •   Dec 11, 2018 12:38 GMT

A £15 million project to substantially upgrade Scotland’s largest fresh milk dairy in Bellshill and secure 265 jobs has had its completion marked by a visit from Scottish 400 metres hurdles record holder and multiple medallist, Eilidh Doyle.

The project by Müller Milk & Ingredients, makers of the Official Milk and Milk Drinks of British Athletics, 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 370 million litres 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, energy efficient cooling systems and an extended chill space to increase capacity for finished products. The work also included the creation of state of the art facilities for colleagues on the site.

With the future sustainability of the fresh milk processing sector being debated in the industry, 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 the next generation of fresh milk, cream and flavoured milk products.

Bellshill is the only Scottish dairy with the ability to manufacture milk bottles on site which 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 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three year programme to create a centre of excellence for dairy in Scotland at Bellshill involved the closure of outdated dairies in Aberdeen and East Kilbride.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:

“Fresh milk deserves to be celebrated. It’s a fantastic, healthy natural product and an essential part of British life.

“Milk from our Bellshill dairy is sourced from local farmers who shape our landscape and our environment. It’s in fridges less than two days after leaving farms because of our investment in processing and logistics infrastructure.

“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 filling 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.

“Müller has strategic partnerships with customers and farmers. This allows us to lead with a comprehensive agricultural and quality agenda and with innovative ways to avoid and recycle plastic.”

“Our employees deserve enormous credit for their work during this major project. Despite significant disruption on site and an exceptionally harsh winter in 2017/18 our team in Bellshill maintained a high level of performance throughout.” 


Notes to Editors:

Müller’s Bellshill Dairy Project includes:

  • Acquisition of adjacent bottle manufacturing facility
  • New state of the art facilities to accommodate all 265 dairy colleagues
  • New cream filling hall built with 3 cream production lines installed
  • Two additional state-of-the-art milk production lines installed taking the milk filling hall to nine production lines
  • Six additional raw milk and finished milk tanks added to site taking storage space to 1.8m litres
  • New cream processing equipment and automation to create new and innovative consumer products.
  • Additional energy efficient cooling plant installed on site
  • Extended chill to create additional holding capacity for packed product

Packaging our fresh milk and cream products:

  • Müller’s fresh and flavoured milk bottles and cream products are 100% recyclable
  • Since 2016, 10,000 tonnes of plastic has been removed from Müller milk bottles. This is a 13.5% reduction
  • Müller is committed to using 50% recycled plastic in its plastic milk bottles by 2020. At the moment, up to 40% of the plastic in Müller’s fresh milk HDPE bottles are made from recycled material.
  • Müller’s milk caps are now a tint (not a solid colour) to improve the quality of recyclate

Müller UK & Ireland is wholly owned by the Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller which employs 27,500 people throughout Europe. In the UK, Müller develops, manufactures and markets a wide range of branded and private label dairy products made with milk from more than 1,700 British farmers.

The Müller brand is ranked at No.7 in The Grocer’s Top 100 list of Britain’s Biggest Brands, and is also the 7th most chosen brand in the UK, picked from shelves more than 230 million times each year. Müller UK & Ireland comprises three business units:

Müller Milk & Ingredients is Britain’s largest producer of branded and private label fresh milk, cream, butter and ingredients products, with a network of dairies and depots servicing customers throughout the country.

Müller Yogurt & Desserts is the UK’s leading yogurt manufacturer responsible for major brands like Müllerlight, Müller Corner and Müller Rice. It produces chilled desserts under licence from Mondelez International and supplies the UK private label yogurt market from a dedicated, state of the art yogurt facility.

Milk & More delivers daily essentials to more than 500,000 homes in Britain, via a network of 57 local fulfilment centres. The milkman is arguably the original home delivery service and Milk & More is ensuring that this great British tradition continues to flourish.

Müller is an Official Supporter of British Athletics and Athletics Ireland. With branding and activation rights for four events in 2018 and three events in 2019, Müller aims to empower consumers to make active and healthy lifestyle choices.

For further information, see Müller Now, our first ever industry report.