Arla Foods is to end its reliance on imports from Sweden and Denmark rom August 2011 as it announces the transfer of its UK retail butter production to Westbury Dairies.
The company joined First Milk and Milk Link as joint owner of the Westbury site two months ago .
The dairy giant is to operate the existing butter-making facility at the site and will also build a dedicated butter making and packing facility for retail products. Arla said around 60 jobs could be created as a result.
The company claims the move will reduce food miles and transport costs. Peter Lauritzen, CEO of Arla Foods UK said: “Today’s announcement is strategically important for Arla by enhancing our environmental credentials in line with our carbon reduction strategy, and further reinforces our commitment to the UK.
The initiative is also in line with our commitment to develop the potential of the Westbury facility and secure its long-term future.”
Possible line closures
The move means that the company would no longer be bringing butter over
Arla announced the possibility of a full closure of Arla’s Varde site and also the closure of the company’s butter production line at Gotene and Settle, North Yorkshire.
Nicola Hedge, a spokesperson for Arla Foods told DairyReporter.com that around 16 jobs could be lost if the closures are to go ahead.
The three joint venture partners said that they will continue to use the skimmed milk powder production facility at Westbury and Milk Link’s butter production at its Lockerbie Cremery in Scotland would remain unaffected by the announcement.