The loss of own-label cheese contracts, a three-year decline in volume and continued instability in foodservice demand due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prompted the dairy processor to reassess the financial viability of the site. The proposal would see the creamery close by early 2021.
Should the closure be agreed, Arla will look to recruit colleagues into vacant positions within their site network and will set up links with local job centres, provide outplacement support, as well as working with other local food producers to find suitable vacancies.
No longer financially viable
Alison Rance, vice president of production for Arla UK, said: “Unfortunately, the drop in production volumes for the site means we believe it is no longer financial responsible for us to keep our Trevarrian facility in operation.
“We have explored multiple options including additional volume opportunities for the site, but see no other alternative than to propose a closure of the site.”
Arla has entered into full consultation with the employees impacted by the proposal, as well as their trade union representatives.
“If the proposal goes ahead, we are committed to supporting affected colleagues at this difficult time and will do everything we can to support them in their search for suitable alternative employment, either within Arla or elsewhere,” Rance added.
The Trevarrian site currently produces brie, camembert and other cheeses predominantly under local brands or own-label retailer brands. According to Arla, these products cannot be made elsewhere and the production of them would cease should the site close.
Commenting on the closure, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers organiser David Clift said: “This is clearly devastating news for the employees at the site and is a significant blow for the local economy.
“While recognising that the loss of key own-label cheese contracts and the instability in the food service market lie behind this proposal Usdaw will be doing all it can during the collective consultation process to look at alternatives, protect jobs and secure the best deal possible for members.”