Dairy Crest, the UK group behind brands including Clover butter and Frijj milkshake, is to set up an R&D centre at local university Harper Adams.

The company is planning a “food innovation centre” on the university’s campus, although it did not provide a timetable for the project.

“This is a great opportunity for Dairy Crest. We already have a productive working relationship with Harper Adams, and provide placements for Food Science students at our Technical Development Centre, in Crudgington,” Roger Emery, Dairy Crest’s group technical and compliance director, said.

Dairy Crest has a target of achieving “10% of year-on-year growth from new product development”. 

Dr David Llewellyn, Harper Adams University’s Vice-Chancellor, added: “In a world where issues of food security and sustainability are now at the top of political and agri-food industry agendas, finding ways to increase the interaction and knowledge flow between academia and the food industry for commercial and societal benefits is going to become more important and this collaboration is most timely.”