First Milk cheese packing jobs go

By Hayley Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Milk, Cheese, First milk

First Milk has warned that it will be cutting 52 jobs at its cheese packing site near Wrexham, following a further 93 that were announced in...

First Milk has warned that it will be cutting 52 jobs at its cheese packing site near Wrexham, following a further 93 that were announced in November.

First Milk started to restructure its cheese packing as a result of Dairy Crest transferring its cheese packing volume to its new facility at Nuneaton. As a result, up to 93 jobs were axed at First Milk’s Maelor packing site. Since then a further 52 potential job cuts were announced last week.

“When we purchased Dairy Crest’s retailer brand cheese business in 2006, we agreed that we would continue to pack cheese for them for the next two to three years,” said Peter Humphreys, First Milk’s chief executive. “We recognised of course that there was a possibility that Dairy Crest would wish to set up their own cheese packing facility at some point.”

Dairy Crest commenced transferring cheese-packing volume from Maelor to Nuneaton in January 2009. The Dairy Crest volume accounts for around 40% of the cheese packed at Maelor.

Since last week’s announcement to axe another 52 jobs, Chris Palmer, general manager at the Maelor site added: “Unfortunately, we will potentially require a smaller number of people to pack cheese as a result of reduced volumes.

“Like every company operating in the current economic environment, we must decide how best to shape our business. We are convinced that the best route forward is to concentrate on the development of our regional cheese brands and premium retailer contracts, rather than pursuing a high volume/low value route.”

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