The Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW) has said that the closure of an Arla creamery plant, which will affect more than 90 jobs, is a major blow for employees and their families and a worry for Welsh milk producers.
Arla revealed this week that its dairy site at Llandyrnog in Wales would be closed as part of a £400 million pound restructure. This most recent closure in Denbighshire is the latest in a number of such closures throughout Wales over the last decade.
FUW President Glyn Roberts said that the closure would have a devastating impact on the employees and their families, as well as to the wider region. Ensuring a future for the plant, which has been in business for nearly a century, would now be of paramount importance to the area.
FUW Dairy Committee Chairman Dai Miles said: “This most recent closure is of significant concern to the Welsh dairy sector as it functions to further reduce processing capacity in Wales. This may make some producers vulnerable in the future given the large distance between the new processing site and Arla suppliers.”
As part of the £400 million pound cost reduction programme, Arla’s Welsh supermarket own-brand Welsh cheese will now be processed in Taw valley in Devon. The milk supplying this product will continue to come from farms in Wales.
Arla is set to retain the Llandyrnog site while potential opportunities for other products are explored.
“However, if this ultimately means a further loss of processing in Wales, then this means a loss of the economic benefits of processing in Wales and a major worry for dairy producers in the area.” added Mr Miles.