Dairy Crest today (30 September) confirmed that it intends to axe jobs in a bid to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

In a trading update the maker of Cathedral City, Yoplait and Clover warned that while first-half profits are in line with expectations, the company's dairy would likely be "well down" on last year's first half, largely due to tough dairy ingredients markets and the effect of higher raw milk, vegetable oils, packaging and energy costs.

"There are two areas where we may make people redundant," a spokesperson for the group told just-food.

"Firstly, we are in consultation with staff about shutting our Nottingham dairy, which employs 200 people. Our intention, if the consultation is positive, is to move the milk bottling business to other facilities… our customers won't see any change in service.

"The second area is that we are reorganising our head office. We aren't disclosing how many jobs could be affected there," the spokesperson said.

Dairy Crest said that it expects the Nottingham consultation to close in the next three months, while the head office consultation is expected to be completed within one month.

"The aim is, as input prices are going up, we don't want to pass all costs onto hard-pushed consumers. We are not currently planning other cost savings, but we have to keep eyes open for potential cuts," the spokesperson added.