SCOTLAND, UK - Muller UK & Ireland confirmed last week that it will close its processing plants in East Kilbride and Aberdeen, with the loss of 255 posts from the sites, affecting 43 dairy farms in the north east.
NFU Scotland has been working with Muller UK & Ireland since the company’s initial announcement of its restructuring plans at the end of March to action a feasibility study by Opportunity North East to look at securing a viable future for dairy farming in that area.
As detailed by Muller for those wishing to continue their contracts with Muller, a 1.75 pence per litre transport charge would be applied for the non-aligned and co-operative producers, to move the milk to Bellshill, near Glasgow, for processing. The Union had called on Muller to pull the haulage cost plans, to no avail.
Jean McLean, NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee representative for the North East commented: “The announcement by Muller to close its Tullos plant in Aberdeenshire is deeply disappointing and could impact the viability of the dairy industry in the north east of Scotland.
“Many businesses are not in a good place and this will leave considering if they have a future in dairying.
“NFU Scotland has been working to reach a resolution since the original announcement and will continue to work with Opportunity North East which will continue its work on the feasibility study. There is still full co-operation for the feasibility study to be completed, with full support of NFU Scotland, and will seek to give options to producers.”
Graeme Kilpatrick, NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee Chairman commented: “We are still awaiting answers to several questions we have posed to Muller in recent weeks. NFU Scotland has asked that if the need arises for the milk to go elsewhere other than Bellshill who will foot the bill and if the transport charges will be introduced to other areas of Scotland too.
“The transport costs should have been discussed with all those supplying Muller from across the UK as there is the possibility that these charges could be implemented more widely.
“The Union previously spoke with the Scottish Government about investment in the dairy industry in Scotland and attracting inward investment to increase the processing capacity. NFU Scotland will take up these discussions with the new Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing in due course.”
TheCattleSite News Desk