Two of the UK’s largest dairy companies, Dale Farm and Arla Foods, have partnered for the first time as part of a major supply partnership.

Northern Ireland headquartered Dale Farm will supply Arla Foods Ingredients, headquartered in Denmark, with whey protein concentrate, which will be used as an ingredient in infant formula and consumer health ingredients.

Dale Farm has until now mainly supplied whey protein for use in sports nutrition products so this contract repositions this aspect of its business within the infant formula market.

Group operations director for Dale Farm Chris McAlinden, said: “This partnership with Arla represents an excellent opportunity to grow our presence in the global whey protein market, adding value to our business for our farmer-owners.

“Through working together, we are utilising our combined expertise and technology to bring a high-quality specialist ingredient into the global whey protein market, creating future opportunity for growth in export markets.”

Supply chain senior vice president of Arla Foods Ingredients Povl Friis added: “Arla Foods Ingredients is very pleased to have this new partnership with Dale Farm and the opportunities that it brings to grow our business and thereby add value for our farmer-owners.

“The two companies share a common vision of how to develop high-quality ingredients for the global markets and for Arla, making it a significant next step in our growing ingredients business.”