As a family-owned business, the Lactalis Group’s core values – Ambition, Commitment, and with Simplicity – make us unique. We promote and celebrate these values and the employees who demonstrate them in our everyday work life. This is part of our continuous improvement culture, to shape a long-term, sustainable future with an engaged, committed workforce.
Setting high aims in the daily management of the business, as well as constantly developing professional & individual capability.
Having a true entrepreneurial spirit, both individually and collectively. Demonstrating reliability, responsibility & loyalty.
Being straightforward (transparency, pragmatism & openness), while working efficiently and producing results.
Sustainability is meeting today’s demands without compromising what is essential for tomorrow. It requires balancing the needs of the planet with the needs of humanity, whilst having a clear set of business ethics.
At Lactalis UK & Ireland, our people matter. We are a family business connected by shared values, ethics and a passion for making products that bring people closer together.
Our places of work are safe, dynamic and enjoyable places to work. Employee safety and wellbeing is paramount. Clear vision, leadership and priorities provide focus yet we give our staff input into decision-making. We promote a culture of collaboration and give people the support and space to develop their area of responsibility, autonomously.
In January 2020 we were honoured to be awarded as one of the UK’s top engaged workplaces, winning in the category of Internal Communication. We use technology, newsletters, business briefings and events to share regular performance updates and “wins”, to foster a positive, connected culture where employee input and feedback is also highly valued.
We have 425 employees in the UK and aim to provide every employee with economic security through fair wages, health security through our comprehensive benefits plan and career advancement opportunities.
Whilst we are a global group, the development and support of local economies and communities is a core part of the Lactalis philosophy.
Our UK dairy plants in Stranraer, Scotland and Lubborn, Somerset are located in rural regions steeped in milk and cheese-making tradition. We work with local farmers, producers and suppliers. By maintaining these roots in traditional dairy regions, Lactalis UK & Ireland supports and maintains authenticity, preserves multi-generational farming and fosters cheese-making expertise, passion and excellence.
We are also proud to partner with two of the UK’s leading charities as well as local charities closer geographically to our factories and logistics depot.
As a third-generation family business, we know how important it is for children to grow up enjoying a safe, happy and healthy childhood. Sadly, it is not the case for 1 in 5 children in the UK, who suffer abuse and neglect.
During 2019, we ran a series of employee-led events and activities, designed to keep us active and bring us together, all whilst raising money for the NSPCC. In January 2020, we were delighted to present the NSPCC with a cheque for £16,000.
Photography by Tom Hull. The children pictured are models.
FareShare are the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, working with over 11,000 frontline charities across the UK. They believe that “no good food should go to waste” and redistribute surplus food to these charities that turn it into meals. Food donations reach charities across the UK, including school breakfast clubs, older people’s lunch clubs, homeless shelters, and community cafes.
Since November 2017, we’ve been proud to partner with FareShare, donating all surplus cheese & butter. In 2019, this was enough for an estimated 304,292 meals for those in need. Our support for FareShare continues during the Covid-19 crisis, with ALL excess stock offered first to FareShare every single Friday.
Our local communities are very important to us. Each year, we are part of the Supporter Scheme for the RSABI (Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution), the organisation that supports People in Scottish Agriculture.
We are also a corporate supporter of RHET, the Royal Highland Education Trust. A charity that works with farmers, teachers, educators and businesses alike to provide the best possible learning expertise for children aged between 3 and 18 in Scotland.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have also sought to do even more in our local communities. We have delivered free food to local Scottish charities in Stranraer (the home of our cheddar factories), including The Coronation Day Centre and the Covid-19 Resilience Group.
Whilst in Northamptonshire, (the home of our logistics warehouse), we have partnered with Fruitful Abundance. Fruitful Abundance work as a central hub for many local projects throughout Northamptonshire supporting shops and cafés such as Shop Zero and 4U where customers pay only what they can afford for essential items. They also support community groups such as; The Weston Favell Food Bank, The African Church Community Food Program and The Towcester Road Community Café.
Our UK Procurement team drives an agenda of continuous improvement for all goods and services purchased for the business including packaging, ingredients and energy.
We follow the Lactalis Group Ethical Codes of Procurement Practice which recognise our corporate & social responsibilities and, with our suppliers, we lead innovation.
The Purchasing team own the contractual relationships with our Vendors, within which we agree trading terms that are acceptable to both parties.
We select our suppliers based on their ability to deliver optimum quality, service and pricing levels. Our relationships are based on trust, experience and integrity.
We are currently working towards the following stated aims. When doing business with Lactalis UK & Ireland and the Lactalis Group, suppliers commit themselves to conform to these principles.
These topics are not an exhaustive list but highlight the main guidelines in terms of Corporate Social Responsibility expected from our suppliers.
In order to reduce the environmental footprint and to contribute to the fight against global change, suppliers comply with all applicable relevant laws and regulations in the countries where they operate, and these following principles:
Suppliers follow precautionary principles such as:
Suppliers are proactive on waste management issues by:
Suppliers must comply with the labour laws and legislation of the countries they operate in and ensure the following conditions are respected on their production sites and those of their partners:
At Lactalis UK and Ireland we partner with passionate dairy farmers that continuously strive to raise the bar on animal care and provide us with fresh, high quality milk. Dairy cows require first-rate care and management to produce quality healthy milk, and our farmers deliver on those needs by adherence to the Red Tractor Assurance Dairy Scheme (RTADS) RTA Dairy Standards.
The Red Tractor Scheme is a programme aimed at providing consistency and uniformity in animal care and quality assurance throughout the dairy industry. The standards ensure cows are well looked after to maintain their health and welfare, and that the milk is produced in hygienic conditions and stored safely.
We, in turn, regularly audit our farms to ensure they share our commitment to the best care and treatment of their dairy cows.
Our local presence in some of the UK’s best dairy regions allows us to work closely with multi-generational family farms of all systems and sizes.
Buying milk directly from local farmers close to our factories has many benefits; from helping us to reduce transport mileage and carbon footprint, to allowing our team to visit them regularly and develop the strongest possible working relationships.
Maintaining high quality milk supply and a great relationship with our farmers is vital in making our tasty cheeses. All of our farmers are contracted and have clear and fair terms agreed with our farmer representative body. At Lactalis our contract adheres to the dairy voluntary code, and we provide our farmers with a transparent price schedule to incentivise and reward the milk quality and profiles that suit cheese production.
In October 2019, Lactalis UK & Ireland published its first ever Milk Sourcing Standard.
This comprehensive Standard sets out current and future farm criteria on such topics as: Animal Health & Welfare, Animal Feed and Environmental Impact.
The Standard has facilitated an open and constructive dialogue with our UK Farmers enabling the development of collaborative improvement action plans to meet the Standard. Whilst, the future roadmap cements Lactalis’ long-term commitment to the UK Dairy Sector.
Protein. The main component in milk needed to make cheese is protein, so we reward our dairy farmers through their monthly payments based on the protein content of the milk they supply. The higher the protein in the milk, the higher the cheese yield, therefore it’s a win-win situation.
Low bacteria and somatic cell counts. Somatic cell count is an indicator of animal well-being. At Lactalis we expect high hygienic quality milk with low levels of somatic cell counts so it is paramount that these factors are a key focus for our farmers’ businesses. We reward our dairy farmers based on lower bacteria and somatic cell counts.
The goal is to have an overall milk supply of high constituent and hygienic quality.
Lactalis UK and Ireland are dedicated to improving farm standards and the sustainability of our farmers’ businesses for future generations. Our Lactalis Milk Sourcing Standards and Lactalis Development Group are a key part of this vision. These Group meetings and farm visits provide opportunities for farmers to share knowledge, ideas and establish best practice.
Recent projects undertaken by the group include:
Carbon auditing– This has involved gathering information on all aspects of business from fuel consumption to water usage. The collation of the information has allowed our farmers to benchmark against similar businesses and review where they are excelling and highlights any areas they can improve.
Antibiotic Reduction Programme – Antimicrobial resistance is a challenge facing the human population. Our Lactalis farmers have successfully phased out medications which are critical in the use of human health from our supply chain. Through a series of workshops and farm visits, and engaging with local vets these changes have been implemented without detriment to animal health and welfare.