Müller Milk & Ingredients (MMI) has confirmed that it is to review the future viability of its distribution depot in Carlisle, which could place 62 posts at risk of redundancy.
The business has signalled the start of a 30 day consultation and has stressed the importance of not prejudging the outcome of the review. Its leadership team will work together with employees and their representatives to consider all options for the site before arriving at any decision on its future.
However, if the decision is made to close Carlisle depot the remaining milk distribution will be displaced through MMI’s Leeds, Glasgow and Manchester depots and will create up to 39 new roles, which the business will look to offer to those at risk of redundancy at Carlisle.
The move follows changes in fresh milk distribution practices and in MMI’s mix of customers. Traditionally milk was transported from distribution depots directly to individual stores every day but increasingly retail customers seek very large volumes of milk delivered to regional distribution centres, from where they then deliver to their own stores.
MMI has also entered new and successful strategic partnerships with certain retail customers but has reduced volumes of fresh milk supplied to some customers served by the Carlisle Depot operation.
Paul Lloyd, Logistics Director for Müller Milk & Ingredients 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.”
James Postings, Usdaw Area Organiser commented: “This is devastating news for the staff and their families.
“We will now enter into formal consultation with the employer to interrogate their proposal for the closure.
“The union will be doing all it can to try to save jobs and get the best deal for the staff.
“In the meantime, we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this difficult time.”
MMI has provided assurances that in the event that the consultation results in the decision to close the Carlisle Depot, the business would 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.