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Growth at Graham's The Family Dairy

Graham’s The Family Dairy, Scotland’s largest independent dairy company, has announced its year-end results to 31 March 2008.  Turnover increased by nine per cent to £33.4m (2007: £30.7m) and pre-tax profits were £721,953.

The year ahead marks the 70th anniversary of the family dairy business, founded by the grandfather of current managing director Robert Graham.  The Grahams have farmed in the Stirling area for five generations, employ 300 staff and partner with 50 Scottish farmers.

Robert Graham said:  “Graham’s growth is down to the hands-on way we do business and the emphasis we place on traditional values - integrity, loyalty and excellent service.

“As a family business we handle our affairs in a prudent and canny manner and our long-term focus remains looking after our farmers, customers, suppliers and staff.  They can continue to expect the same levels of care and attention that have won their trust and support.”

The company remains committed to innovation and product development.  In the summer of 2008, it launched its Jersey cow range, Graham’s Gold, listed with Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

Graham’s also responded to overwhelming consumer demand for its organic produce by extending its portfolio to include Scottish organic unsalted butter.

Graham continued: “The commitment we have placed in brand development is beginning to pay dividends.  We’re continually looking at ways of improving our offering, from packaging to products, and this is set to play a significant part in our future growth strategy.

The recent closure of an OFT investigation into alleged breaches of competition law has also allowed the dairy to commit to a further £1m investment programme having previously put major business development decisions on hold.

“The OFT investigation placed a huge burden on our extended family and staff, but it was important to invest the time protecting the reputation of our family business and we have now moved on and are progressing future business plans.”

The Bridge of Allan-based dairy also won a number of significant contracts during 2008.  Sainsbury’s introduced Graham’s conventional milk to its 20 Scottish stores, resulting in an immediate uptake in sales and awarded Graham’s the contract to supply all its own-label cream.

Graham added: “Careful and considered investment in the business has set us up well for the years ahead.  It’s encouraging to see the importance retailers are now placing on Scottish produce, allowing consumers to protect Scotland’s thriving food and drink sector.”