Muller Wiseman Dairies has confirmed that it is to begin a statutory consultation on the future of its distribution depot at Pensilva in Cornwall.

The consultation period with employees and the union representing them will last 30 days. A total of 58 positions are affected by the move, the company said today (15 May). Some may be offered alternative employment within the dairy group's business, Muller Wiseman added.

"The consultation follows a reduction in milk supplied from the depot and changes in customer requirements with large volumes of fresh milk increasingly being supplied directly to regional distribution centres rather than smaller deliveries to individual stores," Muller Wiseman said in a statement.

Carl Ravenhall, Muller Wiseman MD commented: "We operate in a very competitive environment and it is right that we properly review the viability of this depot going forward, taking the views and ideas of our employees and their representatives into account over the next month, before arriving at a decision."

Usdaw, the union representing the workers, said it is "deeply concerned" about the future the depot.

"We are deeply concerned at the situation and we will examine the business case in detail. This is a difficult and worrying time for the staff and we will do all we can to support our members," David Johnson, Usdaw's National Officer representing workers, commented.

Muller Wiseman has been adjusting its depot delivery capacity in the UK and announced the closure of two UK depots, in Keith and Whitburn, last summer.