West Country dairy plans European expansion

A West Country cheese and butter wholesaler is planning an expansion into Europe after landing a £4m funding deal.

Millbrook Dairy in North Devon has announced plans to expand into Europe with funding from Santander.

Santander has provided the Bideford  business with a funding package including working capital, to support its plans to increase sales.

Millbrook Dairy has also transferred its day to day banking to Santander UK. It currently sources products across the UK and Ireland.

It sells cheddar, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester cheeses to cheese specialists, manufacturers, and retailers throughout the UK and Europe.

Its markets are mainly in the Netherlands and Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Germany, and Poland.

It also sells its own brand Scottish cheddar, 1057 and Irish cheddar Seanachai.

Currently, around 20% of its sales comes from overseas exports. It plans to double that figure over the next three-years.

Millbrook Dairy has recently expanded into the trade butter sector, focusing on key areas of the market including butter portions for the ‘fine dining on the go’ market for airlines, railways and cruise liners, and bulk butter for bakeries, patisseries, food service and manufacturing sectors.

Millbrook Dairy’s European growth plans are being propelled by an increase in sales from its office in the Netherlands, from which it sources cheeses locally and sells to the Dutch and wider European markets.

Since its establishment in 2018, Kevin Beer and David Evans, who previously worked together in the dairy sector for 20 years, have seen consistent growth.

Turnover has increased from £15m in January 2020, to £21m in January 2021, to £26m in January 2022. It is on track to achieve annual revenue of £40m in January 2023.

Kevin Beer said: “We are delighted to be working with Santander UK as our banking partner as we embark on the next exciting phase in our journey. The £4m funding package it has provided will enable us to amplify and accelerate our growth, allowing us to expand our range, volumes and market reach both domestically and in our export markets overseas.”

Steve Tyers, relationship director at Santander UK, added: “We are proud to have become Millbrook Dairy’s banking partner, supporting the next phase of its growth strategy. Our funding package will help this entrepreneurial business expand further in the European and UK markets and we look forward to working together to deliver growth globally.”


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