UK – First Milk, the British-owned farmer collective comprising around 700 farming families, has successfully acquired BV Dairy, a well-established Dorset-based dairy manufacturer, in a move to expand its product portfolio and market reach.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, is aimed to bolsters First Milk’s position in the dairy industry and aligns with its commitment to sustainability and regenerative practices.

Founded in 1958, BV Dairy has built a reputation for producing a diverse range of fresh dairy products, including cheese, yogurt, mascarpone, and clotted cream.

The company caters to food manufacturers and the foodservice sector while also providing manufacturing solutions.

The acquisition reflects First Milk’s intention to broaden its offering and capitalize on BV Dairy’s strong customer relationships and quality service.

First Milk’s Chief Executive, Shelagh Hancock, expressed her delight at the completion of the acquisition, emphasizing the shared values between BV Dairy and First Milk.

“The BV Dairy business has strong customer relationships and a reputation for quality and service across food manufacture and food service,” she stated.

“This provides a genuine extension to our business, extending our manufacturing and market reach, offering a platform for the further growth and development of our business.”

In addition, Vice-Chairman and Farmer Director, Mike Smith, highlighted that the deal aligns with First Milk’s existing strengths and brings new benefits for members and colleagues.

He noted that the acquisition extends First Milk’s regenerative positioning into a broader range of dairy products.

Jim Highnam, Managing Director of BV Dairy, expressed satisfaction with the decision to sell the business, emphasizing the importance of securing a future for customers, colleagues, farmers, and suppliers.

“As such, I’m pleased to finalize this transaction and see BV Dairy become part of First Milk, as both businesses share a down-to-earth, pragmatic approach, balancing the needs of all.”

First Milk, a certified B corporation, operates cheese production sites in the Lake District and Pembrokeshire, employing approximately 220 colleagues.

The acquisition of BV Dairy is expected to contribute to the company’s sustainable development goals. First Milk was recognized in the first-ever King’s Awards for Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2023, reinforcing its commitment to environmental and social responsibility.

This strategic move comes amidst a dynamic landscape in the food industry, with recent acquisitions such as the Compleat Food Group’s acquisition of SK Foods and Zorba Food, further indicating the industry’s adaptability and pursuit of growth opportunities.

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