THE last few years have seen many changes in the milk industry across Europe and one of the success stories has been Scottish family firm, Graham’s The Family Dairy.
It moved up from number three to second place in our league table of Scottish take-home food and drink brands, excluding alcohol in 2016.
With soft drinks brand Irn-Bru in top spot, Graham’s can now call itself the number one Scottish food brand in the Scottish market.
And its latest full year results reflect a story of continued ambition within a difficult trading climate.
Graham’s says that more than half of Scotland’s population buys Graham’s products but adds that the instability of the global milk market has been challenging.
Managing director Robert Graham said: “Oversupply led to significant balancing costs for Graham’s and deflation in the market.
“During this period, Graham’s continued to pay its farmers the highest price in Scotland, and with the market showing signs of recovery in the second part of 2016, Graham’s has increased its price to farmers in recent months.”
Trading against this backdrop, Graham’s sales are down year-on year from £86.5m to £83.6m despite volume increasing.
It has reported profit before tax as down slightly to £1.43m from £1.5m.
During the period covered, the company invested £1.4m in plant and machinery and purchased Glenfield Dairy to help it continue to develop new products.
Among launches for the period covered, to March 2016, were the introduction of quark and new yogurts.
And major partnerships in the 12 months saw Graham’s become exclusive milk and whipping cream supplier to all 68 Starbucks stores in Scotland and a seven-figure deal to provide milk, butter, cream, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese and crème fraiche to Brakes Scotland customers.
Robert Graham concluded: “We are pleased to have delivered a solid performance during what has been an incredibly challenging time for the entire dairy industry.
“As farmers ourselves who continue to milk our own cows, we understand the pressures farmers face and this why we continue to pay them the highest price in Scotland.
“We value the relationships we have with our 100 farming partners and are committed to continuing an open and regular dialogue to the benefit of all of our businesses.”