First Milk CEO, Shelagh Hancock commented,
"We have made significant capital investments at our manufacturing sites over the last few years. These investments will continue, as the amount of cheese that we are manufacturing will increase next year and is forecast to grow further in the future in line with demand from our customer base.
"However, in light of this we recognise that we need to improve the strength, efficiency and flexibility of our main manufacturing sites and make the assets work harder. This will allow us to utilise both sites better and deliver improved returns to our farmer members.
''The proposed changes would result in a reduction in headcount numbers, and it is proposed that around 20 roles are removed from the site structure at the Lake District Creamery, with around 10 roles being removed at our Haverfordwest Creamery.
"We recognise that the impact of these proposed changes is significant for the people affected and we are committed to treating people with respect and consideration as we move through a 30-day consultation period.
"At our manufacturing sites our specific focus is on driving more for less - producing consistent good quality cheese, while concentrating on high productivity and factory optimisation. These changes are part of delivering this strategy."
Notes to Editors
• £40m has been invested at Haverfordwest & Lake District creameries over the last 5 years, providing a strong infrastructure at these sites
• Consultation with affected employees will begin on Thursday 21 September 2017 and we will continue for a period of 30 days
• Trade unions have been briefed and First Milk has committed to working closely and constructively with them over the coming weeks and months.
About First Milk
First Milk is the UK's only major dairy company, 100% owned by British farmers. It supplies a wide range of dairy products and dairy ingredients to customers in both national and international markets including block cheeses, raw milk, butter, skimmed milk powder & whey proteins. It is headquartered in Glasgow with four manufacturing sites across England, Scotland and Wales.