UK milk supplier Muller Wiseman Dairies has said it may close two depots as it readjusts to the way milk is now delivered to retail customers.

The company said today (12 June) it will start talks with staff on the future of depots in two Scottish towns – Keith and Whitburn.

“We must adapt to changes in the requirements being made of us by customers, with larger volumes of milk increasingly being delivered to regional distribution centres instead of individual stores,” Muller Wiseman Dairies MD Carl Ravenhall said.

Some 116 staff work at Whitburn, with 25 employed at Keith. The company, formed last year after the takeover of Robert Wiseman Dairies by German dairy group Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller last year, also said 15 administrative and management roles elsewhere at the business were “under review”.

“We operate in a very competitive environment and it is important that our structure reflects the current and future needs of the business. It is right that we properly review our network, taking into account the views of our employees and their representatives,” Ravenhall said.

Muller Wiseman Dairies said some staff at the Keith and Whitburn depots could be offered jobs at other sites if they closed. It said up to 103 jobs could be created at depots in Aberdeen and Cambuslang.

It said a formal announcement on the Keith and Whitburn depots would be made after the end of the consultation period, which lasts for 45 days.

The Usdaw union said it was “shocked” by the company’s announcement. “We’ll be busy during the next few weeks talking to our reps and members on site to go through the company’s plans and to consider the best way forward. These are uncertain times in the sector as companies reorganise their manufacturing and distribution networks but Usdaw will be doing all it can to protect jobs and represent the workforce,” national officer John Gorle said.