A family owned dairy in Minera near Wrexham has taken over processing of all Asda’s Welsh milk, making it the first major supermarket to produce and process its milk in Wales.
Asda expects to sell in excess of 30m litres of milk in Wales in 2013 and the agreement between Tomlinson’s Dairies and Arla Foods which will see 17 dedicated Welsh dairy farmers produce the milk for 32 stores in Wales. Each farmer is a member of Asda Dairylink, a dedicated group of Asda producers within Arla Foods Milk Partnership.
One of the farmers is Robert Pryce Jones, Asda’s Dairy Farmer of the Year. Robert farms 300 acres with 200 cows at Buttington Old Hall Farm near Welshpool and has worked as a dairy farmer for 30 years.
He won the award for his commitment to sharing innovations and best practices for cow welfare and he thinks the new arrangement is going to benefit Welsh dairy farmers.
Robert said “Other supermarkets label their milk Welsh but Asda is the first major retailer to sell milk produced and packed in Wales. It’s a real boost to Welsh dairy farmers to keep our milk here in Wales from milking through to it landing in fridges.”
Tomlinson’s Dairies originated in 1983 and it moved to a new dairy last September, which is over 70,000 square feet in size, featuring the latest equipment and employing 100 staff. The site is run by family members Phillip and John Tomlinson and production of Asda’s milk started in January this year.
Phillip Tomlinson said “We’re proud of our new site and the fact we’re able to support not just farming but the local economy in North Wales. Working with Arla Foods and Asda means we’re going to be producing a quality product that is authentically Welsh, something I hope Asda customers will enjoy.”
Pearce Hughes, Asda Agricultural Development Manager, said “The joint agreement with Arla, Asda and Tomlinson’s is good news for our customers as it reduces road miles, invests in Wales and most importantly, provides great tasting Welsh milk for our stores across the country. Farmers like Robert are the real stars here and it’s testament to the success and collaboration throughout the dairy supply chain that we are the first major supermarket to sell milk produced and packed here in Wales.”