The dairy giant confirmed last month that it would be winding down both its Aberdeen and East Kilbride plants as they were operating well below capacity.
The East Kilbride site, however, would remain operational for up to two years.
Müller will invest £15M in its dairy at Bellshill, North Lanarkshire, to create a fresh milk and ingredients ‘centre of excellence’. It said it would continue to investigate further opportunities to grow its business in Scotland.
Dairy under fire
Upon news of the closures, the dairy came under fire from the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw), the union representing the workforce, for the “potentially premature” decision to announce the closure of the East Kilbride site, where 131 jobs will be lost.
However, Usdaw said it had secured a commitment from the business that a formal dialogue would continue at East Kilbride, as it claimed there were “a number of issues where further discussion is required”.
Müller md Andrew McInnes stated that “wherever possible”, the company would offer employees the opportunity to relocate within its business.
Müller has agreed to offer all farmers supplying the Aberdeen dairy the opportunity to continue supplying the business conditional to a 1.75 pence per litre charge, which would reflect the cost of transporting the milk they produced from Aberdeen to Bellshill for processing.
Further job losses
In addition to the loss of 87 jobs, a further seven jobs will be lost at Müller’s Aberdeen depot.
Müller Milk & Ingredients was created in December after Müller Wiseman Dairies acquired Dairy Crest’s dairies operations for £80M.
At the time of the acquisition, McInnes said the company had the opportunity to build “something special” in the UK dairy industry with real benefits for customers, farmers and suppliers.
However, he conceded that the status quo, particularly within the fresh milk sector, “was not working” and consequently the company must “identify and make the changes and savings”.