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Proposed closure of Arla Foods’ Ashby dairy in the UK

Press Release   •   Jul 31, 2013 09:30 CEST

With Arla’s one billion litre fresh milk processing facility at the Arla Foods Aylesbury Dairy nearing completion, Arla Foods UK plan to close the dairy and distribution facility at Ashby-de-la-Zouch and transfer volume to the new dairy in Aylesbury.

The proposed closure of the Ashby-de-la-Zouch site, in April 2014, could result in the loss of up to 370 jobs, subject to consultation with colleagues potentially affected by the plans.
It is intended that raw milk will transfer from the Ashby site over a phased period, commencing in October 2013.

Potentially, we will outsource our distribution function to a third party provider, however, milk will continue to be collected, as usual, from farms supplying the dairy and be delivered to Arla’s other processing sites.

Commenting on the announcement, Lars Dalsgaard, head of Arla UK’s supply chain said:  “Our new dairy in Aylesbury is on track to be processing milk, commercially, by the autumn and volumes are ahead of our original expectations.”

Maximising the use of well-invested dairies

“In line with our long-term business goal, we intend to maximise the use of our well-invested dairies, complemented by our new, cutting edge, processing facility in Aylesbury, to meet the requirements of our customers.”

As the most efficient, fresh milk processing facility of its kind, the dairy directly supports Arla’s philosophy, as a 100 per cent farmer-owned cooperative, to deliver the highest possible returns to its farmers.  Similarly, with plans for the site to be zero carbon, Aylesbury dairy is key to Arla’s sustainability agenda.

Looking to expand milk supply

Arla UK has a milk pool of 3.2 billion litres and is looking to expand its supply by a further 500 million litres by 2017, by recruiting new farmers as well as through the expansion if its existing supplying farms.

Facts on Ashby Dairy

  • The site opened in the early 1920s
  • It became part of the Arla portfolio following Arla’s merger with Express Dairies in October 2003
  • It processes and packs fresh milk, some of it organic

Arla Foods is a international dairy company owned by 12.000 farmers from Denmark, Sweden, The UK, Germany, Belgium and Luxemburg. Arla Foods is one of the strongest players in the international dairy arena, with a wide range of of dairy products of higest quality. Well known brands like Lurpak® and Castello® belongs to the Arla family. Arla Foods is also the worlds largest manufacturer of organic products.