Müller Milk & Ingredients has confirmed it will close its dairies in East Kilbride and Aberdeen — with up to 225 jobs being lost — and invest £15 million in its dairy at Bellshill.
“The investment over the next three years in Scotland’s largest fresh milk dairy will include a new cream filling hall, high speed production lines, expansion of site processing capabilities and investment in site infrastructure …” said Müller.
The investment would also “modernise the dairy and improve efficiencies and competitiveness, whilst giving the dairy the capability to broaden the range of products it is able to make with milk produced by Scottish farmers,” the company said.
Müller added it is also investigating further opportunities to grow its business in Scotland.
Müller said it has offered the 43 farmers supplying milk to the Aberdeen dairy the opportunity to continue supplying Müller as long as they pay the extra 1.75p per litre transport charge to Bellshill.
“Farmers who don’t wish to continue supplying Müller will avoid this transport charge and their contracts will terminate on expiry of 12 months’ notice, giving them time to make alternative arrangements for their milk production,” said Müller.
Müller said it will wind down operations at its Aberdeen dairy “as soon as is reasonably practical, expected to be mid-June.”
Operations at the East Kilbride dairy will continue for the next 18 to 24 months to allow time to transfer production lines to Bellshill.
Andrew McInnes, managing director of Müller Milk & Ingredients said: “We recognise that this change will affect our colleagues at both sites and farmers in the North East but this announcement is a key step towards building a sustainable, diverse and future focused dairy business in Scotland and the UK
“Unfortunately the status quo was not sustainable within our Scottish dairy network, with both Aberdeen and East Kilbride dairies operating well-below capacity.
“By investing in Bellshill we will be better able to optimise the value in the milk we buy from dairy farmers.
“Wherever possible we will offer employees the opportunity to relocate within our network.
“We will support those who do not wish to do so or for whom there are no roles within our business and we have asked local agencies to work with us in this regard.”