Dairy Processing Giant Muller has confirmed the closure of Chadwell Heath dairy, North East London. Around 400 staff are at risk of losing their job. This announcement from the German company comes 8 months after it announced two dairy processing closures in Scotland. The announcement in April last year saw the loss of 229 jobs from their East Kilbride and Aberdeen plants.
After the Scottish dairy processing plant closures, farmers who supplied milk to the north-east dairy were required to pay for the increased cost of transport.
The 43 farms supplying the Scottish dairies were told contracts would expire and they would have to find other buyers if they didn’t pay the extra 1.75p per litre.
NFU Reassures Dairy Farmers
NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes offered reassurance to farmers supplying the London dairy processing site.
He said: “Farmers currently supplying into Chadwell Heath should not be disadvantaged by the closing of the site.
“Muller has assured us it will work with dairy farmers supplying Chadwell Heath to ensure this does not happen and we will continue to follow this closely.”
Muller also announced £60 millions of upgrades to its remaining British dairies.
Andrew McInnes Managing Director of Muller Milk and Ingredients said:
“It is clear the dairy at Chadwell Heath is no longer economically viable. In an environment where there is simply too much fresh milk processing capacity, we simply cannot justify the level of investment required for the complete overhaul and modernisation required at the site.”
Concerns About New Investment Post-Brexit
Post-Brexit there were concerns about the likelihood of new investment, but Mr McInnes said it was part of its plans to secure a ‘sustainable and vibrant future’ for the British dairy industry and up to 180 new jobs would be created at other dairy processing facilities.
He said: “By improving operational efficiencies and capabilities at various dairy processing sites, we aim to transform the milk and ingredients sector, benefiting our customers, consumers, colleagues and farmers.”
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