Posts Tagged ‘Welsh Milk Dairy’

31 Jobs To Go At Proper Welsh Milk Dairy In Whitland

10 Dec

Thanks to one of our Best Of Welsh & Borders producers who made me aware of more bad news in the Welsh food industry. Wag food in case you are interested, this is what is known as communication. The following is taken from the Carmarthenshire Journal and has been forwarded to one of our Assembly Members in case he is not aware:

Dairy Crest has announced that it is starting consultation over the proposed closure of its Proper Welsh Milk dairy in Whitland, which currently employs 31 people.

Proper Welsh Milk was days from closure when Dairy Crest bought the business from the administrators in March this year, with the aim to maintain production and employment and develop new products at the site.

However, the firm says production volumes have fallen short of expectations and significant investment is needed to bring the site up to Dairy Crest standards.

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire MP Simon Hart said he was desperately sad by the proposals.

Mark Allen, chief excutive of Dairy Crest, said: “We are disappointed it has not been possible to make a success of Proper Welsh, but lower sales and higher costs mean it is not possible to operate the site economically. We will do all we can to help employees at the dairy who may be affected by these proposals. We will also work with customers to offer them alternative packing arrangements and ensure there is no disruption to their service. We remain committed to the Welsh dairy sector and are continuing to recruit farmers and invest in milk collection facilities around Carmarthen.”

Mr Hart added: “I am desperately sad that Dairy Crest were unable to make this venture work. The employees have worked incredibly hard and deserve a better outcome than this. I will do anything I can to help them find alternative work in the area and urge them to get in touch.”

It is a major blow for Whitland. The £1.5 million dairy was only officially opened by First Minister Carwyn Jones in November 2011. At the time it was hoped the dairy would process and bottle up to 10 million litres of locally-sourced milk each year.

Speaking at the launch, the First Minister said: “It’s a great pleasure to be here today at the first creamery to open in Wales in 75 years. There’s been a tendency for milk processing to leave Wales so this dairy is very welcome. It’s great to see this facility in Whitland; I well remember the lively conversations that took place with Dairy Crest’s closure. It’s a great vote of confidence in local farming.”

He added: “This new plant is a great step forward for both Carmarthenshire and the Welsh dairy industry. The dairy will safeguard milk outlets for dairy farmers in the surrounding area. This is Welsh milk being produced and bottled here in Wales for Welsh consumers and that has to be good news for all.”

Whitland, once well known for its role in the dairy industry, lost many jobs in the mid-1990s with the closure of the Dairy Crest creamery.