Workers at Blaydon Dairy, Tyne & Wear, are facing redundancy for the second time in less than two years after owners Medina Dairy announced its closure yesterday.
Almost 100 staff are set to be laid off at the processing site, which closed with the loss of 260 jobs when Dairy Farmers of Britain went into receivership in 2009.
Many former DFB staff were re-employed by Medina Dairy after they bought the site from the receivers in January 2010.
A spokesman for Windsor-based Medina – which plans to move work from Blaydon to its processing plant in Huddersfield – blamed the closure on “spare capacity”.
“The closure of the Blaydon site is predominantly driven by excess spare capacity within our processing sites and the fact that a large percentage of the milk sold and distributed from our Blaydon site goes as far afield as Yorkshire and Lancashire,” he said.
“We acknowledge that this will be a bitter blow for our employees in the North East but at the same time we have to recognise that this will further strengthen the Medina Group moving forward.
“We are now entering into a 30-day consultation period with our staff to explore all possible options.”
The Blaydon Dairy workers were devastated when they received the news.
“I worked here for Dairy Farmers of Britain and was taken on again when Medina took over,” said one.
“A lot of the staff here gave up other jobs to come back to the dairy when it re-opened – so it’s a very sad day for us.”
Medina Dairy, the largest independently-owned dairy family business in the UK, started as a family business serving East Berkshire in 1980 but now has depots throughout the country, as well as 157 acres of prime Hampshire farmland.