Muller to close two dairies in Scotland

Muller to close two dairies in Scotland

Muller Milk & Ingredients, the UK arm of German dairy giant Muller, has confirmed it will push ahead with the closure of two dairy facilities in East Kilbride and Aberdeen. 

The closures, where were originally mooted in April, will impact 225 jobs across the two Scottish sites. The plant in Aberdeen is expected to wind down by mid-June, while production at East Kilbride will continue for 18-24 months. 

Muller said the decision was reached because both facilities were operating "well below" capacity. Managing director Andrew McInnes said: "Unfortunately the status quo was not sustainable within our Scottish dairy network, with both Aberdeen and East Kilbride dairies operating well-below capacity."

Muller is investing GBP15m (US$21.7m) to expand another facility in Bellshill. The investment over the next three years will will include a new cream filling hall, high-speed production lines, expansion of site processing capabilities and investment in site infrastructure to modernise the dairy and improve efficiencies and competitiveness. The products that the dairy will produce will also be broadened, Muller said. 

The 43 farmers supplying milk to the dairies in East Kilbride and Aberdeen will be given the opportunity to continue supplying Muller, but if they take it they will be forced to pay a 1.75 pence per litre charge for additional transportation costs. 

Responding to the news the two sites will be closed, Daniel Adams, national officer for the Usdaw union, said the move was a "devastating blow". 

"Usdaw remains concerned at the potentially premature nature of the decision regarding the East Kilbride site given that the company do not anticipate it closing for up to another 24 months. Usdaw has secured a commitment from the business that a formal dialogue will continue at East Kilbride during this time as we believe there remain a number of issues where further discussion is required," he commented.