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Creamery Closure Would Mark Sad Day For Bute

19 March 2010

SCOTLAND, UK - The announcement that dairy company First Milk is proposing to end more than 40 years of cheese-making at its Rothesay creamery marks a sad day for food and farming on the Isle of Bute.

This closure, if it goes ahead, will potentially affect up to 19 people working at the site with First Milk planning to transport the milk supplied by the 14 dairy farmers on the island across to the Scottish mainland.

NFU Scotland President, Jim McLaren said: “Securing fair returns from the cheese market in recent times has been very difficult for any cheese maker. This proposal to close a long established creamery highlights that even high value, branded product, such as the Isle of Bute cheddar, has struggled to generate viable returns for First Milk or its farmers.

“Those buyers who continually screw down the prices paid for a quality fresh product like cheese, while often taking the opportunity to extend their own margins, need to wake up to the impact that such policies can wreak on more remote milk fields, such as that on the Isle of Bute.

“While we appreciate the commercial drivers behind First Milk bringing forward a proposal to close the creamery on the island, there will be huge uncertainty for those remaining dairy farmers. We welcome First Milk’s continued commitment to collecting milk on the island and delivering it to the mainland and that the current milk price will be maintained.

“The company also remains committed to building a new creamery at Campbeltown to replace its existing factory there, and that will be welcomed by other producers in Argyll and the Islands.”

TheCattleSite News Desk



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