Milk Link, the farmer-owned dairy business, has awarded Culina Logistics a contract to provide national distribution and warehousing for its chilled cheese, butter and milk-finished goods.
Operations director Mark Robertson said: “Working with Culina Logistics will simplify our logistics arrangements, provide a flexible platform for future growth, deliver greater efficiencies, business profitability and ultimately allow us to maximise the returns we can offer to our members.
“We would like to make clear that these changes have been made purely on strategic grounds and our decision to move away from our current contractors, Pentons Haulage and NR Evans, is not in any way a reflection of the level of service and support they have offered us in the past.”
Milk Link said the new arrangements would be phased in over the next 12 months. “These will encompass the handling of cheese and butter operations at Milk Link’s Oswestry cheese packing facility, Lockerbie Creamery, Tuxford & Tebbutt Creamery, Reece’s Creamery and Llandyrnog Creamery. In addition the change will affect the handling of chilled products, such as flavoured milk and cream produced at Crediton.”
Milk Link, which counts True Blue Stilton among its products, is entirely owned by British dairy farmers and employs some 1,430 people at eight processing facilities. Sales in 2008/09 reached £547m.
Culina will collect more than 400 finished product lines from Milk Link’s sites and the goods will be warehoused at Culina’s depots in Bristol and Stafford with picked orders subsequently being delivered to retailers, food processors and food service organisations across the UK.
These depots will also provide Milk Link with a warehouse management system that will process orders and manage their stock movements.