A Muller-branded truck drives along a road outside a processing plant© Muller

Muller Milk & Ingredients (MMI) have concluded that north-east London dairy plant, Chadwell Heath, will close following a lengthy consultation.

A winding-down process will now take place over the next 15 months with the potential loss of 389 permanent jobs at the plant.

Meetings with producers supplying Chadwell Heath will take place to assess their options but Muller has stressed “wherever possible, they will not be disadvantaged.”

Farmers Weekly understand most producers supplying the dairy will have their milk re-routed to other Muller processing plants, but one group of dairy farmers will be contacted to assess what other options they have.

Muller would not say how many suppliers this would affect.

One solution available to Muller is to “swap milk” with another processor, leaving producers on the same contract but have their milk collected by another processor in the area.

“There are no plans to make changes to our supply base at this time,” said Muller’s head of communications Graeme Jack.

“We will work with farmers in the region with the intention that wherever possible, they will not be disadvantaged.”

Mr Jack added, “It is important to stress that the investment in our network of dairies planned for 2017-18 will increase our capabilities and unlock further growth in the volume and range of products which we seek.

“We will require more milk from farmers to meet this demand.”

The closure is part of a £60m network investment at other Muller processing facilities in Severnside, Foston, Droitwich, Manchester and Bridgewater.