22/09/2014

261 Jobs To Be Axed At Dairy Crest

The supermarkets' price 'squeeze' on dairy producers has been blamed for today's announcement that 261 jobs are to go at Dairy Crest's plants at Hanworth, south west London, and in Chard, Somerset.

Unite the union said that Dairy Crest was caught between the "unrelenting pressure of the supermarkets to drive down prices for customers and the legitimate desire of farmers to get a decent price for their milk".

Unite said that 202 jobs were under threat at the milk bottling site at Hanworth and 59 at Chard, which makes flavoured creams, such as brandy butter.

Unite national officer, Matt Draper, said: "We will be working closely with Dairy Crest to mitigate the job losses that are a severe blow to our hard working and dedicated members and their families. We will be investigating whether employees can be relocated to other Dairy Crest plants.

"As doorstep delivery moves over to the use of plastic bottles, what we are seeing here is the death knell of the traditional milkman delivering bottled milk to the doorstep as the nation sleeps.

"The reason for this is that supermarkets are selling four pints for £1, while dairy companies' delivery prices are 79 pence a pint – they just can't compete.

"Companies, such as Dairy Crest, are being squeezed by highly competitive supermarkets and dairy farmers seeking a decent return for the milk they produce."

The company will now start the consultation process with the trade unions on the closures.

(CD/JP)

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