Arla sets out Ashby closure plan

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Arla plans to close its dairy and distribution facility at Ashby-de-la-Zouch in April 2014 and transfer operations to a new dairy at Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire which is now nearing completion.

And, it said, it might outsource its distribution function to a third party provider.

It is intended that raw milk will transfer from the Ashby site over a phased period, starting in October.

Lars Dalsgaard, head of Arla UK’s supply chain, said: “Our new dairy in Aylesbury is on track to be processing milk, commercially, by the autumn and volumes are ahead of our original expectations.

“In line with our long-term business goal, we intend to maximise the use of our well-invested dairies, complemented by our new, cutting edge, processing facility in Aylesbury, to meet the requirements of our customers.”

Arla’s new site has a one billion litre fresh milk processing facility.

Milk will continue to be collected, as usual, from farms supplying the dairy and be delivered to Arla’s other processing sites. However, the company may outsource its distribution function to a third party provider.

The proposed closure of the Ashby site, in April 2014, could result in the loss of up to 370 jobs.

Arla has a turnover of some £2bn in the UK. Its brands include Cravendale, Lurpak, Tickler and Anchor. Over 4,000 daily deliveries are made to stores and regional distribution centres around the country.

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