First Milk, Cumbria co-operative, acquires BV Dairy

First Milk, the Cumbria-based co-operative, said it completed the acquisition of BV Dairy (Blackmore Vale Farm Cream Limited), the manufacturer of specialist chilled dairy products based in Dorset.

First Milk said BV Dairy  services customers throughout England, Wales and Scotland, offering a “comprehensive end-to-end solution to customers across food manufacturing and food service, as well as offering co-manufacturing to exciting growth markets such as the home meal solutions and gut health sectors, offering considerable opportunities for the future.”

First Milk CEO Shelagh Hancock said: “I am delighted to complete the acquisition of BV Dairy, a successful family-owned business, which shares many common values with First Milk – a focus on people and community, environmental performance, exceptional quality and long-term value creation.

“We look forward to welcoming the wider BV Dairy family into our First Milk family.

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

First Milk farmer director and vice-chairman Mike Smith said: “This purchase builds on the existing strengths of First Milk and will bring wider benefits, adding value for our members whilst creating opportunities for our colleagues and enabling us to extend our regenerative positioning into a broader range of dairy products and customers.

“This is a great step forward as we work together to secure the future.”

BV Dairy MD Jim Highnam said: “Having made the decision to sell the business, we wanted to ensure that the new owners would provide a secure future for our customers, colleagues, farmers and suppliers.

“As such, I’m pleased to finalise 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 stakeholders.

“I look forward to working with our new First Milk colleagues to continue to grow and develop BV Dairy.”