Müller Milk & Ingredients (MMI) has confirmed that it is to wind down production at its Foston dairy in Derbyshire.
The facility is likely to cease operations by the end of the year with processing absorbed by other MMI dairies.
It is said that up to 223 full-time jobs will be lost.
MII said that the decision follows a 45-day statutory review of the company’s dairy network, in which Foston dairy was identified to be most at risk due to its size and inability to absorb significant production volume from other dairies, its current level of utilisation and its geographical position relative to customers.
The group claimed that most dairy farmers who supply to Foston will be unaffected, with milk switched to be processed at other dairies, but added that it will be in direct contact with the small number of farmers who are not close to other dairies in the MII network.
Patrick Müller, Chief Executive at Müller Milk & Ingredients said that the company fully recognises that this decision will be devastating for its employees, “but if we are to have any prospect of building a fresh milk business which is sustainable in the short and longer term, we need to make significant changes to reduce our costs”.
“MMI has the best-invested network in our industry. But we must adapt quickly to meet the realities of a changing market. Inaction is not an option and would place at risk the future viability of fresh milk, long regarded as a staple of the nation’s fridges,” Müller explained.
“Wherever possible, we will offer our colleagues opportunities to relocate within our network, and we will do everything we possibly can to support those who do not wish to relocate or for whom there are no roles.”
The dairy network review was part of MMI’s Project Darwin programme which aims to secure ‘a vibrant and sustainable future for the business through cost reduction and margin improvement’.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.