£15m invested in Lanarkshire plant

Muller confirms dairy closures: 225 jobs axed

MullerMüller Milk & Ingredients has confirmed plans to shut its East Kilbride and Aberdeen dairies, making 225 workers redundant.

It will also go ahead with a £15 million investment in its Bellshill facility over the next three years.

The Aberdeen dairy is expected to close in the next fortnight. Operations at East Kilbride – the old headquarters of Robert Wiseman Dairies – will continue for 18-24 months to allow time to transfer production lines to Bellshill.

The company, which bought Wiseman for £279m in 2012, announced its review of the business in March when it revealed Aberdeen was operating at 40% below capacity. It has now completed a consultation with employees.

Andrew McInnes, managing director of Müller Milk & Ingredients said: “We recognise that this change will affect our colleagues at both sites and farmers in the North East but this announcement is a key step towards building a sustainable, diverse and future focused dairy business in Scotland and the UK.

“Unfortunately, the status quo was not sustainable within our Scottish dairy network, with both Aberdeen and East Kilbride dairies operating well-below capacity. By investing in Bellshill we will be better able to optimise the value in the milk we buy from dairy farmers.

“Wherever possible we will offer employees the opportunity to relocate within our network. We will support those who do not wish to do so or for whom there are no roles within our business and we have asked local agencies to work with us in this regard.”

Müller has agreed to offer all 43 farmers supplying the Aberdeen dairy the opportunity to continue supplying the business if they wish to do so, conditional to a 1.75 pence per litre charge which reflects the cost of transporting the milk they produce from Aberdeen to Bellshill for processing.

Farmers who do not wish to continue supplying Müller will avoid this transport charge and their contracts will terminate on expiry of 12 months’ notice, giving them time to make alternative arrangements for their milk production.

Investment in the Bellshill dairy will include a new cream filling hall, high speed production lines, expansion of site processing capabilities and investment in site infrastructure to modernise the dairy and improve efficiencies and competitiveness.

The company says this will give the dairy the capability to broaden the range of products it is able to make with milk produced by Scottish farmers.

Müller said it is “continuing to investigate further opportunities to grow its business in Scotland as it seeks to build a diverse dairy business in the UK”.

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