Dale Farm set to report ‘strong and consistent growth’

Speaking ahead of the upcoming Balmoral Show, Northern Ireland’s largest farmer-owned dairy co-operative, Dale Farm, is preparing to report another strong year for its farmer members.

Group chief executive of Dale Farm, Nick Whelan, put the co-operative’s success down to its “ambitious growth strategy”.

Last year, Dale Farm announced its profits had surged by 16% to £7.9 million (€9 million).

It comes just weeks after rival Lakeland Dairies announced its profits had more than doubled in the space of just a year reaching €16.8 million (£14.9 million) in its latest accounts.

‘Ambitious strategy’

Whelan said: “We look forward to one of the key events in the agricultural calendar, Balmoral Show, against the backdrop of a strong financial year, which we will report in the coming weeks.

Over the past 12 months, we have focused on an ambitious growth strategy to grow our presence across the UK and ultimately deliver the best possible milk price to our farmers at all times.

“In doing so, we have significantly strengthened our partnerships with major retail customers, bringing our products into the hands of more consumers than ever before.”

Last month, Dale Farm was one of the few dairies to hold its March price. Directors agreed to hold the base price at 27.7p/L, plus a 0.3p/L member loyalty bonus, bringing the price up to 28p/L.

The firm is expected to announce its April price over the next few days.

“On a production level, we have invested into facilities and technology at our factories in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, resulting in increased operating efficiencies,” Whelan added.

“Most importantly, this is good news for the backbone of Dale Farm – our farmer members – who continue to drive the co-operative’s success by supplying us with the highest quality milk.”

Balmoral 2018

Dale Farm will have a significant presence at the 2018 Balmoral Show.

The Dale Farm marquee will host the annual Dale Farm Expansion Awards on Thursday, May 17.

A performance of ‘Seasons of Safety,’ a live theatre production focusing on farm safety, produced in partnership with the Grand Opera House, will also take place on Friday, May 18.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy Dale Farm’s wide range of dairy products at its large stand within the Food NI Pavilion.