Jobs are set to go under Calcium project

Jobs are set to go under Calcium project

European dairy cooperative Arla Foods is to cut more than 300 jobs as part of a consolidation drive aimed at saving more than EUR400m (US$462.6m) in business costs.

Under the Denmark headquartered firm's so-called 'Calcium' initiative, some 195 posts across corporate and support functions including finance and corporate strategy are to be made redundant, mostly at Arla's head office in the Danish city of Aarhus but also at administrative offices elsewhere in Europe.

Arla is also looking to end production at a creamery in Wales. If the plan, which is subject to consultation, goes ahead, output will cease at the site in Llandyrnog, with cheddar cheese manufacturing shifting to creameries based at Taw Valley and Lockerbie.

The co-op is also proposing another change to its UK cheese production. Arla wants to move its cheddar cheese packing lines under one roof to be located at its Oswestry facility, which would result in the closure of packing plants in Malpas and Lockerbie if the changes go ahead.

A total of 154 jobs could be at risk by the end of the year as a result of the consolidation process in the cheese business.

Arla launched the three-year Calcium project in the wake of Brexit and its impact on the British pound, and also because of what it called "unfavourable developments in commodity markets". 

Chief executive Peder Tuborgh said today (29 May): "We want to achieve the goal of building a stronger, more competitive Arla, which serves our customers and consumers better and provides higher returns to our farmer owners and that requires us to make tough decisions. 

"It is never easy to say goodbye to valued colleagues, especially in these circumstances, and I would like to thank those people who are leaving us for the contribution they have made to Arla Foods, and I wish them well for the future. We will provide our full support to those colleagues affected during this process."

Arla said it is too early to say at this stage what the other consequences of Calcium on its business operations will be.