Farmer co-operative Long Clawson Dairy has completed the acquisition of Dairy Crest’s Stilton and speciality cheese business, including its Hartington creamery.
There will be a full or partial closure of the Hartington site, which is likely to result in “significant redundancies as a minimum”, said Martin Taylor, Long Clawson Dairy chief executive.
This followed a detailed employee consultation that began on July 30. Around 180 employees work at the site at the moment.
“We could fold the volume of the Hartington site into our three other sites in the area with minimal investment,” added Taylor. “At the moment our overheads are too large to keep all the sites working at full capacity and in the current environment we will be looking at keeping down our costs as much as we can.
“But it is too early to say exactly what will happen. If this site does close then we will be looking at working with local authorities to try and find the best use of the site afterwards.”
If there is closure of the Hartington site, he said that there will be an investment made at the Long Clawson site to accommodate the extra volume - by adding two more vats.
“We acquired it because of the volume it produces and to safeguard the future of Stilton,” added Taylor.
Long Clawson has more than 30 products in its portfolio including blue Stilton, Shropshire Blue and Blue Vinney and many blended cheeses. The Company operates from three sites in Long Clawson, Harby and Bottesford.