Dairy aim­ing to be cream of the crop

Manchester Evening News - - BUSINESS - By SHELINA BEGUM

ROCHDALE-BASED Lan­cashire Farm Dairies is on course to hit a record turnover of £40mil­lion as it looks to take on its big­gest ri­vals.

The award-win­ning com­pany, which was founded in 1984 and em­ploys 220 peo­ple, has grown to be­come the UK’s third-big­gest nat­u­ral yo­gurt brand as healthy con­sumers turn their back on sug­ary al­ter­na­tives.

The yo­gurts are made with freerange milk, with guar­an­tees the cows used are graz­ing for a min­i­mum of 150 days a year.

Chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Sar­faraz Akram said the com­pany re­cently in­vested £5m in new ma­chin­ery at its Rochdale base, which pro­cesses up­wards of 130,000 litres of milk a day, 365 days a year.

He said: “We are a very am­bi­tious busi­ness with strong aspi­ra­tions to grow.

“We’ve got the drive and am­bi­tion to suc­ceed. As we grow we’re able to re­cruit bet­ter peo­ple into the busi­ness. We need to con­tinue to in­vest. To be a man­u­fac­turer these days you need to have the lat­est bit of kit. This busi­ness is Rochdale through and through.

“The own­ers live in Rochdale, it’s al­ways been in Rochdale, all our milk comes from the lo­cal area. This busi­ness is 100 per cent in­grained in Rochdale.

“We see our­selves as com­pet­ing with the na­tional play­ers like Müller, Yeo Val­ley and Onken. They’re in our sights and we’re look­ing to take them on.”

Their prod­ucts are now stocked in all the ma­jor su­per­mar­kets and they’ve even been in­cluded in lat­est se­ries of Su­per­mar­ket Sweep, hosted by Ry­lan Clark-Neal.

Brand man­ager Jack Mor­ri­son said: “It’s a re­ally good ex­am­ple of how we’ve built our brand. It hap­pened or­gan­i­cally. They ap­proached us and it’s fur­ther ev­i­dence of the suc­cess of the brand.”

The com­pany was founded 35 years ago by Ghu­lam Zouq and his son Azhar is the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor. Last month the com­pany won the Bar­clays Judges Choice Award at the M.E.N Busi­ness of the Year Awards.

azhar Zouq, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of lan­cashire farm Dairies

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