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Muller considering closure of Aberdeen and East Kilbride dairies

The business has confirmed a 45-day statutory consultation which will consider the winding down of milk processing at its Aberdeen and East Kilbride dairies


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Muller will consider the closure of its Aberdeen and East Kilbride dairies as part of a review of how its Scottish business is structured.

 

As part of the restructure, the firm has proposed a £15 million investment in its Bellshill plant which it claimed would improve efficiencies and competitiveness and broaden the plant’s product range.

 

A 45-day statutory consultation period will examine the potential winding down of the smaller Aberdeen and East Kilbride dairies.

 

Company bosses said both dairies were operating well below full utilisation. Sixty per cent of Aberdeen’s capacity is unused.

 

Andrew McInnes, managing director of Müller Milk and Ingredients said: "We aim to reinvigorate our fresh milk and ingredients business in Scotland and propose to invest to make Bellshill a centre of excellence for dairy, benefitting consumers, customers, employees and farmers.

 

"It is important to stress the status quo is just not viable in the medium term. Our Scottish dairies are inefficient and costly which is putting a brake on the innovation and investment needed to stimulate new demand for dairy products."

 

He said the firm would enter the consultation with an open mind.

 

If a decision were made to wind down the Aberdeen plant, the 43 farmers supplying the site would be offered the option to continue to supply Muller conditional on the acceptance of a 1.75 ppl transport charge.

 

Müller said its network of distribution depots in Scotland was not under review but claimed some roles at Aberdeen depot would fall under consultation. A total of 229 posts could be affected across the Aberdeen and East Kilbride sites.

 

NFU Scotland’s North East chairman Roddy Catto, who supplies Muller’s Aberdeen site, said: "We need to hear more about the investment plans at Bellshill, what this might mean to the Muller business and balance that against any additional transport costs we would face as Muller suppliers were the Aberdeen site to be wound down.

 

"The meeting with Muller must leave all dairy farmers in the area with a clearer view on what these proposals will mean, so that farmers can take an informed decision now on their future in milk production."


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