Scotland’s largest independent dairy company – Graham’s The Family Dairy – has signed a new supply contract with food service firm Brakes Scotland.
The Bridge of Allan-based firm, which also has processing plants in Nairn and Fife, declined to reveal the value of the contract but said the deal was the equivalent of supplying 2million litres of milk per year.
The contract, which comes into force on April 4 and will run on an “ongoing basis”, will focus primarily on the supply of milk and cream but expand into butter, cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese and crème fraiche.
Graham’s managing director, Robert Graham, said: “Though Brakes is one of the biggest food and drink suppliers in Europe, they see the value in investing in local businesses who retain a focus on high quality produce with strong local provenance, and this was one of the key factors that attracted us to working with them.
“Not only does the food service sector offer huge potential for our brand, it provides an excellent opportunity to further support the 98 dairy farmers we work with across the country at what is a challenging time for the dairy industry.”
Brakes Scotland’s operations director, John Mclintock, said: “We previously bought milk from a processor in England and therefore couldn’t guarantee that we would supply purely Scottish milk to our customers in Scotland. Through customer feedback, we’ve learned that our customers are interested in Graham’s milk and their other product lines, most notably for their provenance and taste. For us it made perfect sense to join up with a company where supply of quality, local milk could be guaranteed and where we could actively reduce food miles, helping the environment whilst supporting Scottish Dairy farmers.”
The new partnership was welcomed by farm minister Richard Lochhead who visited Graham’s headquarters in Bridge of Allan to celebrate the deal.
Mr Lochhead said: “The Scottish Government has been in discussions with Brakes and other food service companies about increasing their sourcing of dairy from Scotland, and so I very much welcome this deal, which could not have come at a better time for Scottish dairy farmers who continue to face low farmgate prices as a result of global market volatility. I urge other businesses to follow suit, as we must all rally behind our hard-pressed producers and source locally when and where we can.”
Last month Graham’s landed an exclusive supply contract to provide milk and whipping cream to Starbucks’ 68 outlets in Scotland.