Speaking after a visit to Arla Foods’ Lockerbie Dairy on Friday, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine praised the facility and the commitment of the staff to quality.
Ms McAlpine was joined by Scottish Enterprise, who support the company through their account management scheme.
The MSP was particularly interested to find out how dairy producers were responding to global challenges in the global market for dairy products. Arla Foods are developing new products from whey, such as protein powder for baby food and sports drinks. As well as the Famous Lockerbie Cheese the produce large amounts of quality “own brand” cheese for retailers like Marks & Spencer and Asda.
The south of Scotland MSP said that the facility was an important part of a long established tradition of dairy farming in Dumfries and Galloway based on “the highest standards of farming practice.”
Commenting Ms McAlpine said:
“I thoroughly enjoyed my tour round the plant, and it was fantastic to see the passion that the staff have for their jobs and the industry – and of course I loved sampling some of the local produce!
“Since the Scottish Government has just launched their Dairy Action Plan, I thought it was a good time to hear the team’s views on the current dairy industry challenges.
“I have also been working with Scottish Enterprise in the area to promote the south of Scotland and it was good to meet with a company who has had a lot of support from them.”
Scottish Enterprise worked with the business to secure a £20m investment in the site under Milk Link in 2011/12. This investment safeguarded the site and 200 jobs.
The Enterprise agency is currently supporting the dairy on a number of innovative projects, including a feasibility study on the options of setting up an Anaerobic Digester plant and the decommissioning of the current effluent set-up.