First Milk to stop cheese production on Bute

First Milk has today announced proposals to stop production at its Rothesay creamery on the Isle of Bute. This will potentially affect up to 19 people working at the site.

All milk produced on the Isle of Bute goes to the Rothesay creamery. However, as a result of farmers leaving the dairy industry, milk produced on the island has declined by more than 25% over the last two years, leading to the creamery now being severely under-utilised.

If the proposals to stop production go ahead, First Milk plans to transport the milk supplied by its farmers on the Isle of Bute to the Scottish mainland.

Kate Allum, executive director for cheese at First Milk said: "The creamery is losing money and therefore it impacts the returns we can pass back to our farmer members.

"Despite our sales team working hard to secure a profitable customer base for cheese produced at the site, the creamery is severely under-utilised which means that the cost of making cheese on Bute is much more expensive in comparison with many other creameries in the UK. Having assessed all our options, we believe that stopping production at the creamery is the best route to protect the returns we can pass back to our farmer members."

First Milk will now enter into a formal consultation process with employees at the Rothesay creamery to discuss these proposals and the potential consequences for them and their roles.


First Milk in Scotland

First Milk, which has 550 members in Scotland, also operates creameries on the Mull of Kintyre at Campbeltown and on the Isle of Arran, creating award-winning cheeses made with 100% guaranteed Scottish milk.  
First Milk also provides Scottish milk to a number of dairy companies in Scotland including Robert Wiseman Dairies for the liquid sector as well as Nestle in Girvan, Ayrshire, for use in the confectionery market.

Contact for more information:

Jill Coyle on 07825 625205
Paul Flanagan on 07767 241452