By Laura McCulloch
The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has emphasised the need to maintain processing capacity in Wales following Arla restructure
The closure of Arla’s creamery plant at Llandyrnog in Wales, as part of a £400 million pound cost reduction programme could have devastating impacts to Wales and the wider region.
FUW dairy committee chairman Dai Miles said this most recent closure is of significant concern to the Welsh dairy sector as it functions to further reduce processing capacity in Wales.
He said: “This may make some producers vulnerable in the future, given the large distance between the new processing site and Arla suppliers.”
Arla’s Welsh supermarket own-brand, Welsh cheese, will now be processed in Taw Valley in Devon but Welsh farms will continue to supply the milk. Opportunities are being explored for other potential products as Arla is set to retain the Llandyrnog site.
“However, if this ultimately means a further loss of processing in Wales, then this means a loss of the economic benefits of processing in Wales and a major worry for dairy producers in the area,” added Mr Miles.
This closure will affect over 90 jobs and FUW said it will be a major blow for employees and their families, as well as being a worry for Welsh milk producers.
An Arla spokesman said: "Under the proposal to stop production at Llandyrnog, there is no impact to our farmer owners and we continue to explore other potential production opportunities for the site.
“As part of our three year transformation programme, we will be continuously looking at ways in which we can transform our business to ultimately secure the best returns for our farmer owners.”