Medina Dairy will close a fresh liquid processing plant in a bid to consolidate processing operations and save money.
The news comes as the dairy processor informed its suppliers of a further 1ppl increase from September 1 which will see the average standard litre price stand at 25.75ppl.
Recent months have seen Medina hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic following the closure of the foodservice sector and wholesale markets, but consecutive milk price increases in June, July and August (by 1ppl, 1.5ppl and 1.5ppl respectively) have seen the price return to pre-Covid-19 levels.
But the processor has outlined its intentions to close Watson’s Dairy in Hampshire, which employs 144 staff, and transport its 200 million litre production capacity to other sites.
Sheazad Hussain, chief executive of Medina Dairy, said: “The proposal follows a major review of our business which concluded that by simplifying and consolidating our processing activity we will be able to create a more sustainable and appropriately scaled business.
“This in turn will enable us to continue to deliver a high level of service to existing customers and provide a platform from which we can respond to future market opportunities.”
The milk will be diverted to Buckleys (Huddersfield), Severnside (Gloucestershire) and Freshways (Acton, London), which was described as Medina’s processing partner in the press release.
Medina has said the move should not have any impact on its 156 farmer suppliers.
It is thought the loss of Watson’s major retail contract with Sainsbury’s has made the site unviable.