German dairy acquires Trewithen

L-R: Francis Clarke (Trewithen Dairy owner), Christian Ehrmann (Ehrmann chairman) and Paul Berne (Trewithen Dairy CEO)

Trewithen Dairy has been acquired by one of Germany’s leading dairy companies.

Ehrmann plans to expand Trewithen’s facilities to open a state-of-the-art UK production plant at the site near Lostwithiel.

Expected to open in 2026, Ehrmann pudding products distributed in the UK will be produced at the facility; expected to account for 15% of Ehrmann’s global sales each year.

Ehrmann dairy products are sold in over 75 countries around the world, from seven international production sites and nine international sales offices; generating over 1.1 billion euros each year.

In addition to its long-term commitment to grow sales of Trewithen’s portfolio of branded and own-label Cornish dairy products, Ehrmann will also make a significant £20 million investment in the dairy’s processing capacity and capabilities.

Christian Ehrmann, chairman of Ehrmann SE, explained: “Ehrmann has enjoyed success in the UK over the last two years working with major supermarket chains to bring new dairy tastes to consumers. The acquisition is highly significant as it opens up local UK production; enabling us to reduce the carbon footprint and guarantee the freshness of our products.

“Choosing Trewithen’s impressively high-quality Cornish milk production, we’re delighted to bring German product innovation together with the very best of British milk.”

Ehrmann’s acquisition of Trewithen will bring together the leadership teams of both family businesses. Trewithen Dairy has been owned by the Clarke family since 1976. The dairy farmers switched to crafting dairy products there in 1994, sourcing milk, cream and, more recently, butter and yoghurt from local cows to sell across the UK.

“We’re incredibly proud of our roots in quality pastures and cows that produce some of the best milk in the world,” said owner Francis Clarke.

“Quality and sustainable growth are core values we share deeply with our new colleagues at Ehrmann. That’s why we decided to join forces to breathe fresh air into the Cornish dairy industry as we enter our next phase of expansion.”

The acquisition will secure the jobs of over 260 people currently working at Trewithen Dairy and Ehrmann says the expansion of the production plant will give dairy farmers in the region a major, stable purchaser for Cornwall’s milk supply, “paying a competitive milk price based upon a guaranteed premium”.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.