The proposed changes would result in about 20 roles being removed from its Lake District creamery, with another 10 jobs being removed at its Haverfordwest creamery.
The company launched a 30-day consultation into the job cuts yesterday (September 21) with the affected employees.
First Milk ceo Shelagh Hancock said the jobs cuts were in response to the company’s need to improve efficiency at the two factories.
‘Make the assets work harder’
“We recognise that we need to improve the strength, efficiency and flexibility of our main manufacturing sites and make the assets work harder. This will allow us to utilise both sites better and deliver improved returns to our farmer members.
“We recognise that the impact of these proposed changes is significant for the people affected and we are committed to treating people with respect and consideration as we move through a 30-day consultation period.”
Hancock said the changes were part of the company’s strategy of “driving more for less” and producing a consistent, good quality cheese, while concentrating on high productivity and factory optimisation.
First Milk has invested £40M into the Haverfordwest and Lake District creameries over the past five years, which will continue after the consultation into job cuts.
Hancock added: “We have made significant capital investments at our manufacturing sites over the last few years.
“These investments will continue, as the amount of cheese that we are manufacturing will increase next year and is forecast to grow further in the future in line with demand from our customer base.”
First Milk said it had contacted the relevant trade unions and would work closely and constructively with them over the coming weeks and months.
Meanwhile, Guernsey-based supplier Phoenix Foods is to cease trading at the end of this month, putting 25 jobs at risk.