TASTY yoghurts made from finest Dumfries and Galloway milk were a recent topic of conversation at 10 Downing Street.
Alan Baxter, managing director of Rowan Glen Ltd at Palnure, Newton Stewart, met the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt at the latest in a series of UK Champions receptions held at the Prime Minister’s official residence.
Mr Baxter led negotiations to acquire and reopen the creamery after the previous owners, Dale Farm Group, closed the edge-of-town site last year with the workforce being made redundant.
The successful buy-out saw production of the iconic Rowan Glen range resume this year at the heart of Dumfries and Galloway’s dairy country. A phased development programme has resulted in rising output with the number of workers now up to 12.
Local MP and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack put forward Mr Baxter as a Business Champion and was delighted when the Chancellor invited him to the reception.
Mr Jack said: “It was great to see Alan and his wife Julie at the event where they were also able to meet a cross-section of business colleagues from across the UK.
“I was deeply disappointed when the previous operation at Palnure closed. It provided vital rural employment and the Rowan Glen brand was closely associated with the region’s dairy industry.
“The hard work and effort put in by Alan and his team deserves to be highlighted and is an example of what many businesses, of varying sizes, are contributing towards future growth in the UK economy.”
Mr Baxter, who lives at Dumfries, has had an association with Rowan Glen spanning 18 years, including being a senior team member for two lengthy periods.
He explained that they were carefully building a portfolio of customers including major supermarket chains and local authorities but were keen to get their yoghurts into even more outlets as part of a longer-term marketing strategy.
Mr Baxter added: “Both Julie and I enjoyed the reception which I saw as an excellent opportunity to further raise the profile of Rowan Glen.”