The UK’s largest farmer-owned and run organic dairy co-operative, Omsco, marked 25 years at their annual conference last week.

The celebration welcomed a record number of members and key business partners from across the globe, reflecting on the past quarter of a century and looking ahead to future market opportunities.

Nicholas Saphir, Omsco’s chairman said: “We started with just five farmers selling liquid milk to three large customers in 1994. Twenty-five years on we have 250 members, producing over 50 per cent of the country’s organic milk supply and are exporting added-value organic dairy products and specialist ingredients globally.

“It’s a complex business, balancing sales across these markets and products. Going forward into the next 25 years, our future success and returns to members will be determined by finding new markets for all of our milk constituents.”

Strategic supply chain partnerships were stated as key to this strategy, with Omsco partners, US co-operative Organic Valley and Australian dairy business Bellamy’s, both speaking about future markets for added value products at the event.

It was noted that the company’s joint membership with Organic Valley, the world’s largest organic milk pool, has opened a significant export market for butterfats, with initial orders establishing Omsco as the UK’s biggest exporter of butterfats to the US, and solid growth in organic demand offering long term growth prospects.

Also present were Wyke Farms, with whom the co-operative partners to make USDA certified organic cheese. Together they supply 75 per cent of the UK’s organic cheddar sales and ten per cent of the UK’s cheddar exports to The States.

READ MORE: UK beef could be on plates in China by Christmas