UK – South Caernarfon Creameries (SCC), a Welsh farmer-owned dairy co-operative has hit a massive 17 percent increase in sales to a record-breaking £71.5 million (US$ 70.92m), signaling a strong recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company said its journey to achieve a profit of £4.1million (US$4.07m) in the year to March 2022 was attributed to the pandemic which led to increased sales in its largest market, UK retail.

Demand has continued to recover in the smaller wholesale markets and in food services though not yet to pre-pandemic levels, which is making the welsh cooperative have better than expected profits while also providing its members with one of the most competitive milk prices in Wales.

The co-op, which is owned by its 145 farmer-members across north, mid and west Wales, said the results have allowed it to pay the second highest milk price in Wales of an annual average of 31.53p a liter.

The company has also been able to allocate nearly £ 1 million (US$0.99m) in dividends to its members, many of whom have been with the co-op since it was founded in 1938, and that record payout amounted to just over 25% of SCC’s profits.

Managing Director Alan Wyn Jones said: “Good progress has been achieved in what has and continues to be a very challenging period for everyone as well as the unimaginable circumstances in Ukraine adding to supply chain issues caused by the post-pandemic reopening of the economy.

As our consumer attitudes change, we must continue to work to ensure that they continue to enjoy the great taste and nutrition of dairy without any associated climate or animal welfare concerns.”

Boosts production in Chwilog plant

At the same time, the cheese and butter company has ploughed £3.8 million (US$3.77m) back into its investment program of Project Dragon, a five-year £20 million (US$19.84m) plan to boost production at its Chwilog dairy near Pwllheli.

Project Dragon also includes new facilities for milk reception, additional cheese production, and packing with work continuing to improve environmental and energy performance.

The company bets that the project will boost production from 16,000 tons a year to 23,000 tons by 2024, with an extra 30 jobs created, taking its workforce to over 160.

Work at the whey processing facility has already begun and is slated to be in operation in the autumn of 2023.

Meanwhile, as dairy industries have come to spotlight over concerns about environmental footprint and animal welfare, the Dragon cheese brand owner noted to take responsibilities seriously by completing a new additional effluent treatment plant.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro-industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.