Dozens of jobs could be at risk after a dairy firm announced it is to review its operations in Aberdeen.
Muller, which produces milk, cream, butter and yoghurts, is proposing a move to existing sites in central Scotland which it says are “close to customer regional distribution centres”.
The firm recently completed a £15 million upgrade at its dairy in Bellshill.
Around 50 jobs could be affected by the review, which comprises Aberdeen’s distribution, garage, tanker and retail operations and will be the subject of a 30-day consultation process.
Although the outcome of the consultation will not be determined until the review is completed, the company has confirmed support and the possibility of relocation will be offered.
Muller says the review comes against a backdrop of a decline in consumption of fresh milk and “significant changes in retailing”.
The firm has focused on creating a network of what it calls “super-dairies” as part of its Project Darwin transformation programme, aimed at securing the future of the business and the sector.
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Muller chief executive Ian Smith said: “As we continue with our Project Darwin transformation programme, we need to continually adapt to meet changing customer and consumer preferences.
“We’re facing into the reality of a decline in fresh milk consumption and significant changes in retailing. The volume going through our Aberdeen site has been severely impacted, and with the majority of our customers distribution operations now located in central Scotland, we need to take action.
“We are ready to consult to ensure that our operational capabilities meet the requirements of all of our customers both now and in the future and we will work hard with our employees and their representatives over the next 30 days to find the right solutions.”