More than 150 stakeholders turned up to witness the unveiling of a new £4 million upgrade to a feed mill in Lifton.
This week, the president of the National Farmers Union, Minette Batters opened Mole Valley Farmers’ newly upgraded Lifton Feed Mill following a £4m investment.
The investment hopes to boost Mole Valley Farmers’ manufacturing capabilities by improving the mill’s raw material storage capacity and enabling feed production to increase by around 20,000 tonnes to a total of 135,000 tonnes a year.
Ms Batters praised the company for investing in the agricultural industry at a challenging and uncertain time. She told shareholders, members and customers who attended the opening: “It is easy to not recognise what you have, when you have it. What you’re doing is one hundred percent the only way forward.
“It is great for me to see such huge levels of investment here in a farming cooporative. It really does give a strong sign of strength with productivity, sustainability and profitability the keys to success.”
The project, on the Devon and Cornwall border, involved the construction of 12 new 70-tonne raw material bins and seven new 8-tonne mini bulk handling bins, resulting in a total on site storage capacity of between 900 to 1,000 tonnes.
The increased storage will ensure a resilient supply of animal feed with the upgrade also enhancing diet formulation accuracy, as well as improving efficiency and reducing manufacturing costs.
Mole Valley Farmers CEO, Jack Cordery, told members: “The purpose of today was to show you your mill. As Farmer Shareholders you own the business and we are hugely proud to be a farmers cooperative.
“It’s massively important at a time of such global uncertainty and such challenge and volatility within our markets that a strong cooperative movement and business like Mole Valley exists.
“Everything we make gets reinvested back into the business and what we’re trying to do is support farmers in their endeavours to produce the highest quality milk and meat.
“This investment will secure the site for many years to come. It is the heart and jewel in our crown in terms of what it can do.
“The investment will allow us to hold greater stocks of raw material. We’ve also focused on our environmental impact. What we are seeking to do is become the most efficient feed manufacturing business out there.
“The lower the cost of the production the better it will be for farmers to help support a margin on their farms. Something we strive to help with every day. This demonstrates our commitment to UK Agriculture.”
In addition to the £4m investment a further £250K has been invested in upgrading the process control system to the most modern currently available, delivering new levels of automation and efficiency within the manufacturing process.The farmer owned business, which trades with a cooperative ethos, made the investment as part of an ongoing commitment to UK agriculture and its manufacturing capability.