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Müller Group to Invest £60 Million in Restructuring its UK Milk & Ingredients Business

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Müller Group to Invest £60 Million in Restructuring its UK Milk & Ingredients Business

Müller Group to Invest £60 Million in Restructuring its UK Milk & Ingredients Business
November 08
09:25 2016

Proposals designed to secure a sustainable and vibrant future for Britain’s biggest fresh milk and ingredients business have been confirmed by Müller Milk & Ingredients (MMI), which is part of Müller UK & Ireland. The business is proposing to invest £60 million to upgrade capabilities and operational efficiencies at its processing facilities at Severnside and Foston with further enhancements to dairies at Droitwich, Manchester and Bridgwater. The project will create up to 180 new jobs.

The investment is part of a total of more than £100 million which will be spent by Müller in the UK across its Müller Milk & Ingredients and Müller Yogurt & Desserts businesses in the next 18 months to improve operational, innovation and marketing capabilities.

MMI has already confirmed a major investment at its dairy at Bellshill in Scotland and reversed the decision taken by Dairy Crest prior to the sale of its dairies to Müller to close a dairy at Hanworth in South West London, securing 170 jobs at the site.

However, the business is now proposing to commence a phased wind down of the Chadwell Heath dairy in North East London over an 18 month period with the potential loss of 389 permanent posts. MMI’s distribution network in the South East is unaffected by this proposal and will be maintained and developed to meet current and future customer requirements.

MMI is undertaking a 45 day consultation and will work with affected employees and their representatives to look at all options including offering alternative roles within the business. In the event that a decision is taken to wind down processing operations at Chadwell Heath, Müller will work with dairy farmers who supply the site to review their options with the intention that wherever possible, they will not be disadvantaged.

The proposals follow the acquisition of Dairy Crest’s dairy operations, including Chadwell Heath dairy, in December 2015, and are part of MMI’s plan to put in place a modern, efficient fresh milk and ingredients processing and distribution business with national coverage, which meets the needs of its customers across the country.

mullerlogoAndrew McInnes (pictured above), managing director of Müller Milk & Ingredients, comments: “When we acquired Dairy Crest’s fresh milk dairy and distribution operations just under a year ago, we made it clear that change would be required to secure a better and more vibrant future for the dairy sector in Britain. We have taken time to assess the best way forward and to model and design a national processing and logistics network which fully meets the needs of our customers throughout the country now and in the future.”

He continues: “By improving operational efficiencies and capabilities at these sites, we can unlock new innovation to transform the milk and ingredients sector, benefitting our consumers, customers, colleagues and farmers. Regrettably, it is clear that the dairy at Chadwell Heath is no longer economically viable. It requires complete overhaul and modernisation and in an industry which has struggled for many years with excess and inefficient processing capacity, we cannot justify committing the level of investment which would be required to bring this site to an acceptable and sustainable level of performance.”

Müller UK & Ireland is wholly owned by the Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller. It employs around 12,000 people in a business which comprises two distinct business units: Müller Milk & Ingredients and Müller Yogurt & Desserts.

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