Arla Foods is looking for a buyer for a cheese-making facility in the UK.
The dairy giant has put its Melton Mowbray creamery, known locally as Tuxford and Tebbutt, up for sale.
The plant in Leicestershire in England’s East Midlands employs around 60 people, the company said in a statement.
“The Melton Mowbray site will continue to be operational during [the review], and there will be no impact to production, customers, or employees,” said Arla.
Arla said it expects to provide an update on the review by April.
Fran Ball, VP of production in the UK at Arla, said: “Over the last few years, the speciality cheese market in the UK, which includes Stilton, has continued to decline. As a farmer-owned cooperative, we are therefore looking at what this means for our business so we can continue to return a fair price back to our 2,000 UK farmer-owners.”
How well do you really know your competitors?
Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.
Your download email will arrive shortly
Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample
We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below formBy GlobalData
She added: “Here at Arla Foods, we are proud of the heritage that we have from our creameries across the UK. We are privileged to employ some of the finest cheese makers in the country, which includes those at our Arla Melton Mowbray Creamery UK.”
According to Arla, the Melton Mowbray site is one of six creameries in the world permitted to make Blue Stilton.
The company has eight dairy sites in the UK, including Taw Valley Creamery in Devon, Trevarrian in Cornwall, and Stourton Creamery in Yorkshire.
The UK is Arla’s largest market when measuring annual revenue. In 2022, the last full year for which figures are available, the group reported an 18.3% rise in revenue to €2.99bn ($3.26bn), driven by price increases. Volumes from Arla’s branded business in the UK fell 7.3%. The company pointed to the impact of inflation on shopper behaviour.
Earlier this month, the group said it was set to increase its production capacity at a Finnish dairy after acquiring the building in full.
Arla increased its shareholding in Massby Facility and Service, a property management company that serviced a dairy in Sipoo, near Helsinki, from 60% to 100%.