England

Bristol and Plymouth jobs threat as milk firms merge

Eighty five jobs in Bristol and 35 in Plymouth are under threat after the merger of two dairy firms.

Milk Link wants to close its offices in both cities and merge its operations in Leeds after a deal with Arla Foods.

Arla, owned by Danish, Swedish and German dairy farmers, operates in 13 countries and employs 17,000 people.

Milk Link, which processes dairy products from across the South West, is consulting with staff and said it was making "every effort" to support them.

Arla said in a statement: "These proposals are subject to consultation with affected colleagues and are solely related to the merger of the two businesses and are not a reflection of the hard work, loyalty and commitment shown by our colleagues.

""We will make every effort to support colleagues potentially affected by this announcement, by seeking alternatives both within and external to Arla Foods."

In 2011, dairy firm Robert Wiseman closed its plant at Okehampton in Devon with the loss of 67 jobs.

The firm switched operations to a new larger plant, about 60 miles away at Bridgwater, Somerset.

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