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August 16, 2019

Dairy giant Muller plans depot changes in UK

Muller, the Germany-based dairy group, is reviewing its network of depots in Scotland as it seeks to lower costs.

By Dean Best

Muller, the Germany-based dairy group, is reviewing its network of depots in Scotland as it seeks to lower costs.

The company is reviewing a site in Aberdeen in the north east of the country and could relocate operations to other Scottish sites.

Muller said the plans could create 22 jobs in the centre of Scotland but up to 50 posts could be affected in Aberdeen. The business has started a 30-day consultation process.

The possible changes are part of an overall programme Muller announced in February to lower costs and improve margins in the UK.

The privately-owned group, one of the largest dairy companies in Europe, pointed to changes in dairy consumption and demand from retail customers.

“The review comes against a backdrop of declining consumption of fresh milk and significant changes in retailing, including a greater requirement from customers for deliveries to large retail distribution centres, which are predominantly located in the central belt,” Muller said in a statement. “This has reduced the requirement for small depots, from which fresh milk processors traditionally delivered milk directly to stores.”

Ian Smith, the CEO of the group’s Müller Milk & Ingredients Distribution arm, added: “We’re facing into the reality of a decline in fresh milk consumption and significant changes in retailing. The volume going through our Aberdeen site has been severely impacted, and with the majority of our customers distribution operations now located in central Scotland, we need to take action.”

In February, Muller announced what it calls “Project Darwin”, a process to cut costs and improve profitability in the UK and Ireland.

Since then, Muller has set out moves to cut the number of products it sells in the UK and close a dairy in Derbyshire in the English Midlands.

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