The dairy processor has announced a 30-day consultation period at the site, working together with employees and their representatives to consider all options for the depot before arriving at a decision for the future.
MMI said the move followed changes in fresh milk distribution practices and its mix of customers.
Move away from traditional model
This has signalled a move away from a traditional model of milk transported from distribution depots to individual stores, to delivering large milk volumes to regional distribution centres, from where retailers could deliver them to stores.
MMI has also entered new strategic partnerships with certain retail customers but has reduced volumes of fresh milk supplied to some customers served by the Carlisle depot operation.
Should a decision be made to close the Carlisle depot, the remaining milk distribution would be displaced through the company’s Leeds, Glasgow and Manchester depots. This would create up to 39 new roles, which MMI said it would offer to those at risk of redundancy at Carlisle.
‘To be able to compete’
MMI logistics director Paul Lloyd said: “In order to be able to compete we must have the most efficient and effective logistics network in our industry, geared to the needs of our customers now and in the future.
“Sadly this means that we must now review the future of our Carlisle depot, and we enter this process with a desire to fully understand the perspective of our employees, so that we can arrive at the correct decision to ensure that our logistics network operates in the most optimal manner.”
In the event of the Carlisle depot shutting down, MMI pledged to make every effort to support its employees. It has also stressed that customers would not be affected by any change and that the proposal would have no impact on its relationship with dairy farmers.