The decision to close the Chadwell Heath plant followed a 45-day consultation period with staff and unions. Müller will gradually wind down the site over the next 15 months, with a potential loss of 389 permanent jobs.
The dairy producer said the closure was unavoidable, as the factory was no longer economically viable.
‘No longer economically viable’
Müller Milk & Ingredients md Andrew McInnes said: “We understand that the decision to wind down processing operations at Chadwell Heath directly affects a number of our colleagues, but unfortunately this announcement is unavoidable.
“It is clear that the dairy at Chadwell Heath is no longer economically viable and – in an environment where there is simply too much fresh milk processing capacity – we simply cannot justify the level of investment required for the complete overhaul and modernisation required at the site.”
Müller planned to offer workers at the plant new opportunities within the business where possible, added McInnes. It would support those who did not wish to relocate, or a position was unavailable.
The news came as Müller announced its plans to invest £60M to upgrade its network of fresh milk and ingredients dairies in Britain and create 180 jobs.
Create 180 jobs
The investment will benefit Müller’s processing facilities in Severnside, Foston, Droitwich, Manchester and Bridgwater.
Key areas of investment include a new filling line at Foston, enhancements to processing capabilities at Droitwich and Bridgwater, and the creation of a centre of excellence for flavoured milk and fresh cream at Severnside.
“Our goal is to secure a sustainable and vibrant future for the dairy sector in Britain and this decision enables us to press on with our investment plans,” said McInnes.
“By improving operational efficiencies and capabilities at various sites, we aim to transform the milk and ingredients sector, benefitting our customers, consumers, colleagues and farmers.”
Müller restructure – at a glance
- Closure of Chadwell Heath factory in north London
- 389 jobs to be lost
- £60M investment in processing facilities in Severnside, Foston, Droitwich, Manchester and Bridgewater
- Investment to create 180 jobs