There may seem to be a lot of them driving up the slow lane on the M1, especially in rush hour on a Friday night, but local dairy company Arla Foods is currently suffering a shortage of lorry drivers at its recently opened Stratford distribution centre.
"There is currently a large shortage of lorry drivers, especially in the South East," said Dave Paxton, distribution development officer at Arla Foods. "This is because of many reasons, one being the rigid truck license which was brought in a few years ago. This put people off and stopped people wanting to drive because of the tough regulations," commented Dave.
Arla Foods requires a high number of drivers to service their recently opened Stratford distribution centre, which houses Arla's most popular brands such as Cravendale PurFiltre(r) that is distributed to the major retailers in the South. Dave and his team have explored many options of attracting drivers but their best method was definitely taking advantage of the recent Romford and Havering show.
"We were really stuck for ideas but thought the Romford show maybe the ideal opportunity to attract local lorry drivers," said Dave, who took the Arla Foods trailer down to the show for the two-day stint. "It went incredibly well, and we had a lot of people interested especially when we were giving away Arla Foods free products such as speciality cheeses from HT Webb, Cravendale and Lurpak butter portions."
Dave and his team are now following up enquires from the show and will start training the newly recruited drivers in the near future.
Arla Foods UK plc is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor. Processing approximately two billion litres of milk a year Arla continues to be one of the UK’s leading dairy companies and a supplier of fresh liquid milk and cream to the top seven retailers.
Over 2,500 daily deliveries are made directly to stores nationwide and Arla brands can be found across the dairy category. As well as the leader of the butter, spreads and margarine sector, and a major supplier of other added value products including flavoured milk and cheese, Arla continues to build working relationships with Arla Foods Milk Partnership, a unique group of dairy farmers, which supplies around 90 per cent of Arla's total milk requirements.
Behind this leading business is a team of circa 2,800 people across the UK located at our dairies, distribution centres and head office.