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£20 million net-zero dairy faces uncertain future

29 May 2024 3 minute read
The Mona Dairy on Anglesey

The future of an innovative dairy on Ynys Môn is in doubt, after the owners of Mona Dairy confirmed it has been unable to secure enough funding to continue to operate in its current form.

More than 30 dairy producers, who had been supplying the dairy, will have to find new buyers.

The £20 million dairy started operating in 2020 and is capable of producing more than 30,000 tons of Welsh and continental cheeses every year.

Based on Mona Industrial Park, the net-zero dairy was supported by a £3m grant from the Welsh Government.

It is powered by renewable energy and last summer unveiled the UK’s first BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) tractor and trailer for milk haulage.

Short-term funding

A statement from the company said: “After five years of striving to develop the newest and most sustainable cheese factory in Europe, and fighting against many factors outside of our control, Mona Dairy in Anglesey is sad to announce that it has failed to source sufficient short-term funding from its key stakeholders to keep functioning in its current form.

“We remain hopeful we can secure a new outcome in the coming days and Mona Dairy will be able to continue its journey, even if that means it is under new ownership,” it added.

The dairy employs around 50 staff, who would be kept on “for as long as we can, as we work through our options”, the dairy said.

Worrying

Responding to the announcement, Rhun ap Iorwerth, the leader of Plaid Cymru and MS for Ynys Mm, said: “The news about the difficulties facing Mona Dairy is disappointing and worrying, and my thoughts are with staff and suppliers.

Mona Dairy had emerged as a potentially very important employer over recent years, and I’ll want to see what can still be done to try to realise the potential of this part of the food sector in years to come, but this is clearly a blow.

“I will be eager to see what can be done to bring in investment in the hope of saving jobs, and in the meantime, I encourage anyone who is affected by this news to get in touch with me should they need support.”

Uncertainty 

FUW Milk and Dairy Produce Committee Chair Brian Walters said: “Undoubtedly, this loss will be hard hitting for both the local economy and the 31 producers that currently supply milk to Mona Dairy.

“Dairy farmers throughout Wales are facing an unprecedented period of uncertainty, having dealt with the difficulties of a long, wet winter alongside the continuing turmoil of changes to future agricultural support and red tape.

“Compliance with the Control of Agricultural Pollution regulations and the ever-tightening noose of bovine TB infections continue to bring great difficulties and extortionate costs to the sector.

“We hope that as a result of a weak spring flush and an improving dairy commodities market, other milk processors will be in a favourable position to support milk producers currently supplying Mona Dairy.

“However, for a more permanent resolution, it is hoped that a new buyer could be sought to take advantage of these innovative facilities at the site on Ynys Môn. Given the sustainability credentials and economic opportunity that Mona Dairy has to offer, we call on the Welsh Government for support in facilitating a positive outcome for the business.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
18 days ago

Bad news, Lidl’s sell a lot of home made cheese etc pity they could not help…

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