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Family dairy firms get together

Two of Scotland’s best-loved dairy families are combining to offer the best possible service to customers in the North East of Scotland.

Inverurie-based, Mitchells Dairy has transferred its milk distribution business to Scotland’s largest independently owned dairy company, Graham’s The Family Dairy in a move designed to ensure continuity of service to customers.

Both companies share long farming traditions and have reputations for delivering high quality products with personal service. All 21 Mitchells milk retail staff will transfer to Graham’s The Family Dairy.

The move will see Graham’s taking over Mitchells distribution to households, shops, restaurants, hotels and offices across Aberdeenshire.

The Mitchells have been distributing milk for four generations in the North East while the Graham’s have grown their business across five generations in Stirlingshire. Farmer Robert Graham started delivering milk by horse and cart in 1939 and the business is now in the hands of his son, grandson and granddaughter and is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.

Graham’s The Family Dairy managing director, Robert Graham, said:  “We are very pleased to be taking over the Mitchells milk distribution business and look forward to taking it to the next level.

“As a fellow family business in the dairy sector, our priority is looking after our customers, staff and our farmers and we’re looking forward to building on the Mitchells high standard of customer service and extending consumer choice.”

Mitchells was established in 1928 by Agnes and Elijah Mitchell who purchased a small grocers shop in Inverurie, purchased milk from local farmers and delivered by horse and cart around the town.  The retail business is now in the hands of their grandson Patrick Mitchell, his daughter Judy Whyte and son in law Keith Whyte.

“We are delighted to be handing our milk business as a going concern to Grahams, a family dairy with similar values to our own, offering continuity to customers and staff,” said Judy.

“Operating at the scale Mitchells has over recent years has been tough, competing with low prices in the multiples and we are pleased to be able to hand over in a smooth transition to Graham’s who are far better placed to progress the business we have built,” she added.

Following the transfer of milk distribution, Mitchells will focus on developing other aspects of its retail business, particularly its dairy shop and tearoom.


Notes to Editors:

  • Graham’s The Family Dairy produces an award-winning range of milk, butter, cream, ice cream and cheese as well as a its Jersey range.
  • In 1939 when the company was founded daily output amounted to 400 pints. The company is now producing more than 700,000 pints on a daily basis.
  • The company has established itself as a top 10 Scottish brand in Scotland ranking 8th in the latest Kantar Worldpanel research. 
  • Graham’s The Family Dairy recorded sales of more than £82 million in the year to 31 March 2014, up from £68m in the preceding 12 months.
  • Graham’s has won many awards for its product and service including Business of the Year, Brand Success of the Year and Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2014 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.