The company said it has invested £40m ($54m) at the Haverfordwest & Lake District creameries over the last five years.
CEO Shelagh Hancock said the investments will continue, as the amount of cheese manufactured will increase next year and is forecast to grow further in the future in line with consumer demand.
“However, in light of this we recognize that we need to improve the strength, efficiency and flexibility of our main manufacturing sites and make the assets work harder,” Hancock said.
“This will allow us to utilize both sites better and deliver improved returns to our farmer members.”
Hancock said around 20 positions would be lost at the Lake District Creamery, with around 10 roles removed at the Haverfordwest Creamery.
A First Milk spokesperson told DairyReporter there are 80 people currently working at Haverfordwest, and 89 people employed at the Lake District Creamery.
‘More for less’
“We recognize the impact of these proposed changes is significant for the people affected and we are committed to treating people with respect and consideration as we move through a 30-day consultation period,” Hancock said, adding trade unions had been informed of the decision.
“At our manufacturing sites, our specific focus is on driving more for less – producing consistent good quality cheese, while concentrating on high productivity and factory optimization.”