Scotland business

Muller confirms closure of Aberdeen and East Kilbride dairies

Cows milking Image copyright Thinkstock

Dairy giant Muller has confirmed that it is to close its Aberdeen and East Kilbride plants, with the loss of up to 225 jobs.

The move follows a consultation period which was launched in April.

Muller said both of the dairies had been operating "well below full utilisation".

It expects to wind down operations in Aberdeen by the middle of June, while the East Kilbride dairy will continue for the next 18-24 months.

Muller said this would allow time for the transfer of production lines to its Bellshill plant in Lanarkshire.

Muller is investing £15m over three years at Bellshill as part of a drive to expand its range of products.

The plans include a new cream filling hall, high-speed production lines and investment in site infrastructure.

'Key step'

Andrew McInnes, managing director of Muller Milk and 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."

Aldi deal

Meanwhile, farms in the north east which want to continue supplying milk to Muller will be required to pay for the increased cost of transport to Bellshill for processing.

The 43 farms' contracts will expire and they will have to find other buyers if they do not pay an extra 1.75p per litre.

In a separate development, Graham's The Family Dairy has agreed a six-figure deal with Aldi, to provide a range of yoghurts for its 66 stores across Scotland.

The Scottish low-fat yoghurts will be on the shelves under Aldi's McCallums brand.

Graham's, which is headquartered in Bridge of Allan, Stirling, also recently secured a nationwide deal with Aldi to supply all of its UK stores with the dairy product quark.

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