Müller Milk & Ingredients has confirmed that it will invest £15m in its dairy at Bellshill to create Scotland’s fresh milk and ingredients centre of excellence.
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 to 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. Müller is also continuing to investigate further opportunities to grow its business in Scotland as it seeks to build a diverse dairy business in the UK.
Following consultation Müller has confirmed that it will close its smaller dairies in East Kilbride and Aberdeen, both of which are operating well below full utilisation. The Müller Milk & Ingredients leadership team worked closely with employees and their representatives, farmers, farming groups, and political representatives during the consultation period before arriving at this decision. A total of 225 posts are affected across the Aberdeen and East Kilbride sites.
The business will wind down operations at its Aberdeen dairy as soon as is reasonably practical, expected to be mid-June. Operations at East Kilbride dairy will continue for the next 18-24 months to allow time to transfer production lines across 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.”
Müller has agreed to offer all 43 farmers supplying the Aberdeen dairy the opportunity to continue supplying the business if they wish to do so, conditional to a 1.75ppl charge which reflects the cost of transporting the milk they produce from Aberdeen to Bellshill for processing.
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.
Issued by Graeme Jack, Group Communications Director, Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller Tel +44 (0) 1355 598585 or +44 (0) 7900 430269.
Müller UK & Ireland
Müller UK & Ireland is wholly owned by the Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller. It employs around 10,000 people in a business which comprises two distinct business units: Müller Milk & Ingredients and Müller Yogurt & Desserts.
Based in Market Drayton, Müller Yogurt & Desserts is the UK’s leading yogurt manufacturer, responsible for major brands such as Müller Corner, Müllerlight and Müller Rice. It also produces, at production facilities in Minsterley near Shrewsbury, chilled desserts including Cadbury Bubbles of Joy, Pots of Joy, Layers of Joy and Twin-pot products under licence from Mondelez International.
Müller Yogurt & Desserts also supplies the UK private label yogurt market from a state of the art yogurt facility in Telford, Shropshire.
Müller Milk & Ingredients aims to be the biggest and best fresh milk and ingredients business with a network of dairies and depots servicing customers throughout the country, producing skimmed, semi-skimmed, whole, and flavoured milk products for brands such as Black & White, The One, freshnlo and FRijj . It also has the capacity to produce salted, unsalted and lactic butter each year for both the domestic and international markets.
The acquisition of Dairy Crest’s dairy operations in December 2015 marked a milestone in Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller’s global growth strategy and in particular its aspiration to place much more emphasis on end to end supply chain innovation, adding value to the UK dairy category.