Natural yogurt firm prepares for £500k expansion work

Posted by on 2 Jul 2020

Image: Natural yogurt firm prepares for £500k expansion work

Rochdale-based yogurt brand Lancashire Farm Dairies is about to start work on a £500,000 expansion to its main production facility.

The two-storey expansion will include a mezzanine floor and building work is expected to start within a month after receiving planning permission from Rochdale Borough Council.

The company, which was founded in 1984, has recruited an extra 20 staff during Covid-19 and the expansion is needed to help the company meet an increase in demand for its products.

Chief Operating Officer Sarfaraz Akram said: “It’s really important to press ahead with the investment. It will create additional capacity to help us keep the shelves fully stacked during this critical time. We submitted the planning application before Covid-19 but the increase in demand has meant we’ve accelerated our plans. We’ve got a lot of other exciting plans in the pipeline.

“We’re really proud to be from Rochdale and being based here is one of the reasons for our success. We’re got a fantastic workforce and the excellent transport links are vital for our delivery fleet. We have provided a number of opportunities to provide further training to develop and up skill our staff.

“We also have an excellent relationship with the RDA and Rochdale Borough Council. There’s a feel-good factor in the borough when it comes to business.”
Lancashire dairies

Last year the award-winning manufacturer announced it was on course to hit a record turnover of £40m as it looks to take on its biggest rivals.

The local business covers the length and breadth of the country with its yogurts which are made with free-range milk, which guarantees the cows used are grazing for a minimum of 150 days a year. Last year the firm actually achieved 180 days, half the year grazing outdoors.

In response to Covid-19 the firm has increased the speed in which it pays its farmers providing them much-needed cashflow to run their businesses during the period. This is in stark contrast to other parts of the dairy industry who were delaying payments causing financial hardship for farmers.

Akram added: “We are really proud to support local British dairy farmers, they are the life blood of our business. Many of the farmers we’ve been working with for as long as we can remember so we wanted to provide them with much-needed stability for them during the period.”

The company has recently invested £5m in new machinery at its Rochdale base, which processes upwards of 130,000 litres of milk a day, 365 days a year.

Akram added: “Our commitment on grazing has really resonated with customers, at a time when animal welfare continues to be such a focus. We’re a proud Rochdale business and the continued improvements are essential if we’re going to continue to grow and fulfil our ambitions.”

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