Alistair Darling MP, officially opened Arla Foods multi-million pound dairy in Lockerbie recently.
Arla Foods UK plc has invested £18 million in the new facility and is employing 100 people.
The new dairy has the capacity to produce up to 150 million litres of fresh milk per year and its phase one implementation is complete with almost 90 million litres already in production.
The Secretary of State toured the dairy and witnessed first hand the extensive production process. He also met some of the employees who have been trained, from scratch, for the specialised jobs in the last six months.
The Secretary of State said: "This is a major investment for Dumfries and Galloway, bringing more than 100 jobs to this rural area. During my tour of the Arla Foods dairy I have seen some of the most modern and technologically advanced equipment of its kind in action. Meeting staff engaged in a range of work has given me an insight into the activities of the dairy and the importance of this expansion to the local economy."
Tim Smith, Chief Executive of Arla Foods UK plc, said, "We have a long-term commitment to Scotland and to growing our business through the Lockerbie dairy. We are indebted to our colleagues for their hard work and dedication in ensuring full-scale operations have been successfully implemented in Lockerbie. We have been very impressed by the quality of staff we have employed from the area.
"The dairy at Lockerbie, coupled with our existing facility at Nairn, makes us ideally suited to service the whole Scottish market from the two newest dairies in Scotland."
Arla Foods UK plc is the UK's leading dairy company processing approximately 2.2 billion litres of milk each year and employing over 5,000 people.
Arla Foods UK plc is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor. Processing approximately two billion litres of milk a year Arla continues to be one of the UK’s leading dairy companies and a supplier of fresh liquid milk and cream to the top seven retailers.
Over 2,500 daily deliveries are made directly to stores nationwide and Arla brands can be found across the dairy category. As well as the leader of the butter, spreads and margarine sector, and a major supplier of other added value products including flavoured milk and cheese, Arla continues to build working relationships with Arla Foods Milk Partnership, a unique group of dairy farmers, which supplies around 90 per cent of Arla's total milk requirements.
Behind this leading business is a team of circa 2,800 people across the UK located at our dairies, distribution centres and head office.