Müller Milk & Ingredients UK has said that it will wind down operations at its Chadwell Heath dairy in northeast London, potentially cutting 389 jobs, over the next 15 months as part of its £60 million restructuring plan.
The planned closure follows a company review of its dairy network, which it hopes will ensure its sustainability, competitiveness, and increase its range of fresh milk products.
Andrew McInnes, managing director of Müller Milk & Ingredients commented on the Chadwell Heath dairy closure: "We understand that the decision to wind down processing operations at Chadwell Heath directly affects a number of our colleagues, but unfortunately this announcement is unavoidable.
"It is clear that the dairy at Chadwell Heath is no longer economically viable and in an environment where there is simply too much fresh milk processing capacity, we simply cannot justify the level of investment required for the complete overhaul and modernisation required at the site."
Müller said it consulted with employees, unions and other representatives, and has pledged to support all individuals affected during the 'wind down period', including dairy farmers.
The multi-million pound investment will include updating processing facilities in Severnside, Foston, Droitwich, Manchester and Bridgwater. This includes new filling lines at Foston, processing enhancements at Droitwich and Bridgewater, and the establishment of a 'centre for excellence' for flavoured milk and fresh cream at Severnside.
Müller had previously announced it will be sinking £15 million in its Bellshill dairy to create a Scottish fresh milk and ingredients centre of excellence and halted plans to close the Hanworth dairy in southwest London, formerly owned by Dairy Crest.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Karen Henderson. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.