Dairy co-ops First Milk and Arla sign deal to produce whey protein powder

The agreement will see the ingredient, which enhances protein in foods, manufactured at First Milk’s site in Cumbria

UK dairy co-op First Milk has announced a partnership with Arla Foods Ingredients to produce a specialist whey protein powder at its Lake District Creamery.

The move is prompted by the growing trend for the protein enrichment of food, and will see First Milk manufacture Nutrilac® FO-7875, a patented microparticulate whey protein concentrate developed by Arla dairy co-op. This is used as an ingredient to enhance the level of protein in food and drink products while retaining texture and taste.

First Milk will manufacture Nutrilac® FO-7875 on behalf of Arla Foods Ingredients using the company’s proprietary process, with Arla marketing and selling the product internationally. In addition, First Milk will continue to manufacture whey protein concentrate powder, WPC80, and market it through its existing partnership.

First Milk CEO Shelagh Hancock said: “We are delighted to agree this new collaboration with Arla Foods Ingredients, which will deliver real value for both co-operatives. Over the last few years, we have completed a significant investment programme across our operations, which means that we are well-placed to expand the range of high-quality, specialist products we can efficiently manufacture.

“We see this type of collaboration as key to our success, enabling our members to be part of the worldwide dairy supply chain, enriching life to secure a positive future for all.”

Arla Foods Ingredients CEO Henrik Andersen added: “This is a new kind of partnership for us, and a very exciting one, especially at a time when demand for high-quality protein solutions has never been greater. Manufacturing speciality whey protein products requires both expertise and a commitment to the highest standards, both of which First Milk shares with us.

“We look forward to working together to help meet the growing consumer need for protein-enriched products.”