Mark Hunter Limited

MARK HUNTER LD (Haverfordwest)

Mark Hunter Ltd, trading as Totally Welsh, collects and processes fresh milk, bottling for small retail outlets, small supermarket chains, garage forecourts and schools. It has a transport division that collects milk in bulk from the farm and a variety of different sized vehicles from vans to articulated lorries covering the distribution of bottled milk throughout South Wales. Positioned in Haverfordwest, the firm is well placed to take milk from the largest milk field in the UK, and all milk comes from within 50 miles of the factory. It currently bottles 220,000 litres per week and is expected to be bottling 400,000 litres per week by Christmas this year.

The dairy business evolved from a vegetable processing business which was being squeezed on margins and entering the dairy business was seen as a way of improving efficiency through better use of distribution vehicles and also satisfied a demand from some local customers.

The biggest challenge was to build volume as this is needed for a dairy to succeed on the small margins available. The plant and equipment is very specialised and expensive and that needs to be running to be cost efficient.

Developing a brand was a pivotal point for the business and it has an identity and a unique selling point to be established. The brand emphasises the Welshness and origin of the product and with daily support through social media has rapidly grown in popularity. In addition, aggressive marketing has allowed Totally Welsh to rapidly become a major player in South Wales milk supply. Finally, support from Welsh Government in the form of grants from the innovation fund, WRAP Cymru, and Cywain along with help from the Institute for Sustainable Design in Swansea and Business Wales Pembrokeshire.

The business will continue to build the distribution network and extend its offering through expansion of the range on offer. Totally Welsh butter has just been launched and over the next five years, other Totallly Welsh products will be added. In addition, there are plans to move to a new purpose built factory, giving increased capacity and BRC approval rating. This will open up new markets and exporting will come into play with a push on butter and cream. Efficiency will remain a focus with an emphasis on robotics and lean principles, and investment in training will be a priority as the need for trained technicians and process engineers grows, especially as there is a national shortage of these.

Sector: Milk Processor
Established: 1990
Growth: 148.9%

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Posted on 2016-01-13