Muller confirms Foston dairy closure by end of year

Müller’s Foston dairy in Derbyshire is to close by the end of the year, with most producers supplying the plant being switched to other Muller sites.

A company statement said that for “a small number” of farmers located in areas not close to other dairies in the Müller Milk & Ingredients (MMI) network, it would be in touch in the next week to discuss and consider future options for their milk.

The closure means the potential loss of 223 permanent posts, with processing capacity absorbed by other MMI dairies.

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The decision follows a 45-day statutory review of the company’s dairy network which examined factory utilisation against a backdrop of declining consumption of fresh milk and significant changes in retailing, said MMI.

During the review, Foston dairy was identified to be most at risk due to its size and inability to absorb significant production volume from other dairies, its current level of utilisation and its geographical position relative to customers, said the company.

The dairy network review was part of MMI’s Project Darwin programme with the aim of securing a vibrant and sustainable future for the business through cost reduction and margin improvement.

The transformation programme includes a comprehensive review of every aspect of MMI’s operations, logistics, back office and people organisation to simplify the business, reduce costs and increase customer focus and accountability.

Müller buys milk from more than 1,650 British farmers, representing roughly 17% of all milk producers in Great Britain.

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