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Müller confirms site closure with loss of 389 jobs

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By Jim Cornall+

13-Jan-2017

Müller Milk & Ingredients has confirmed the closure of its Chadwell Heath plant in London, with the loss of 389 jobs.
Müller Milk & Ingredients has confirmed the closure of its Chadwell Heath plant in London, with the loss of 389 jobs.

Müller Milk & Ingredients has confirmed its Chadwell Heath plant in London will close, with the loss of 389 jobs.

In November the company said it was looking into the plant closure, while at the same time announcing a £60m ($73m) investment at Foston, Severnside, Droitwich and Bridgwater, with the creation of 180 jobs.

This week it confirmed the the Chadwell Heath closure and the investment in other facilities.

The company said that its decision follows a review of the company’s dairy network designed to secure its future sustainability, competitiveness and enhance Müller’s capabilities to produce a greater range of fresh milk products.

The 45-day consultation period included discussions with employees, unions and other representatives and the company has committed to providing support for all of those affected over the 15-month wind down period.

Helping staff

Müller has said it will work with dairy farmers who supply the site to review their options with the intention that wherever possible, they will not be disadvantaged.

Andrew McInnes, managing director of Müller Milk & Ingredients said the closure announcement was unavoidable.

He restated comments made in November that the dairy at Chadwell Heath is no longer economically viable and that the company could not justify the level of investment required for the complete overhaul and modernization the site required.

He said that, where possible, affected staff would be offered the opportunity to relocate within the company’s network, and would support those who cannot, or do not wish to, relocate or for whom there are no roles.

New investment

The investment includes a new filling line at Foston, enhancements to processing capabilities at Droitwich and Bridgwater, and the creation of a center of excellence for flavored milk and fresh cream at Severnside.

McInnes said the company’s goal is to secure a sustainable and future for the dairy sector in Britain, and the decision “enables us to press on with our investment plans.”

He added that by improving operational efficiencies and capabilities at various sites, Müller aims to transform the milk and ingredients sector, benefiting customers, consumers, colleagues and farmers.

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