The UK milk collection industry is efficient, flexible and dynamic and committed to operating to the high professional standards demanded by the industry’s assurance scheme for milk haulage.


Milk is collected from farms by milk hauliers using a fleet of approximately 1,300 vehicles driven by over 2,000 drivers.

The overwhelming majority of milk haulage operations are covered by the Dairy Transport Assurance Scheme, the industry’s assurance scheme for milk transport, part of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme. The scheme provides assurance to milk purchasers that the transport of raw milk and milk fractions meets food safety requirements, industry good practice and specific customer needs.

Milk purchasing and processing in the UK is led by well-established, highly-invested, dynamic operations. UK processors have a successful track record in meeting the demands of some of the most exacting retailers in the world.

Milk purchasers and processors can be farmer co-operatives, private dairy companies or PLCs.

The industry has faced significant restructuring in the last few years and is now more optimistic and sees more potential for growth than ever before. The industry boasts particular strength in the efficient processing and distribution of liquid milk, and the variety and diversity of its cheese sector.

Almost half of the milk purchased by UK dairy companies and co-operatives is processed into liquid milk. After liquid milk the key dairy products are cheese, powders, condensed milk, butter and cream.

Most UK dairy products are ultimately intended for human consumption, and over 70% is produced in consumer packs for sale. Of this the majority are fresh dairy products, either liquid milk or yogurt, that are distributed through a chilled distribution chain. Ensuring the rapid, timely and safe distribution of perishable food products throughout the UK, whilst simultaneously responding to change in consumption trends, is one of the core strengths of the UK dairy industry.


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