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Proposed closure of Ashby dairy

Press Release   •   Jul 31, 2013 08:30 BST

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

The proposed closure of the 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.

Milk will continue to be collected, as usual, from farms supplying the dairy and be delivered to Arla’s other processing sites. However, the company may outsource its distribution function to a third party provider.

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. “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.

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 of its existing supplying farms.

Arla Foods UK plc is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak, Tickler and Anchor. Processing approximately 3.2 billion litres of milk a year and with a turnover of approximatey £2bn Arla is the UK’s largest dairy company.

Over 4,000 daily deliveries are made to stores and regional distribution centres nationwide, Arla's brands can be found across the dairy category and the company has a 26 per cent share of the GB milk pool. Behind this leading business is a team of circa 4,000 people across the UK located at our dairies, distribution centres and head office.