FARMERS’ co-operative, First Milk, has struck its second deal on manufacturing a specialist whey protein supplement on behalf of another company – this time with Arla Foods.

The co-operative will produce Nutrilac® FO-7875, an ingredient developed to enhance the level of protein in food and drink products, at its Lake District creamery.

It already has a partnership on manufacturing and marketing the whey protein powder, WPC80, with Netherlands-based dairy ingredient company Havero Hoogwegt, and this will continue.

First Milk will only manufacture Nutrilac® FO-7875; Arla Foods Ingredients will market and sell the product.

The product will use whey created from the cheesemaking process, which will then be dried into powder form.

Shelagh Hancock, chief executive of First Milk, believes the new collaboration will deliver real value for both co-operatives.

“Over the past 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,” she said.

It is the first partnership of its kind for Arla Foods.

Henrik Andersen, chief executive of Arla Foods Ingredients, said the demand for high-quality protein solutions had 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,’’ he said.

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

In May 2022, First Milk launched Golden Hooves, a new on-farm branded milk and dairy vending franchise business.

This gives members across the country the opportunity to sell milk, cheese and other produce directly from their farm, with the franchise supporting sourcing and supply, payment and central marketing.

It also provides an opportunity for First Milk to communicate directly with the public to explain how they are approaching ethical dairy, giving them the opportunity to shop directly from their earth-regenerating farmers.