The company supplies UK, Ireland and UAE

The company supplies UK, Ireland and UAE

Lancashire Farm Dairies is investing in automation to increase capacity and put the UK-based yogurt maker on a firmer footing with competitors.

Located in the town of Rochdale, north west England, Lancashire Farm Dairies supplies the big four UK supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons, and also a number of smaller players. The company is ploughing GBP1m (US$1.2m) into its sole manufacturing facility employing around 200 staff.

The business claims to be the UK's third-largest natural yogurt brand with a portfolio including Fat Free Greek Style yogurts, Natural Bio and Fat Free Natural, as well as soured cream, crème fraiche, and single and double creams. The company, founded in 1984, has a turnover of almost GBP38m, a spokesperson confirmed, and supplies the UK market and customers in Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.

Lancashire Farm Dairies said the robotics investment will enable the company to increase production of its one-kilogram yogurt formats by 25%. The funding builds on a GBP3.5m cash injection in 2018.

Azhar Zouq, the firm's managing director, said: "We are always looking for ways to improve the business and with some of the latest improvements, along with the introduction of new technology, we have invested in the future of the business so we can continue to grow and fulfil our ambitions.

"Lancashire Farm started as a small business and we are so pleased with the growth so far, but in order to take on major competitors, big investments in manufacturing and taking advantage of such fantastic advancements in technology will play a key part."