Dairy farmers in the north-east have been served notice as Muller looks to slash a “growing milk surplus”.
Bosses at the firm have admitted the moves will be “extremely unwelcome and destabilising” for farmers in the region.
According to Muller 14 dairy farmers in Aberdeenshire and north Aberdeen have been served a 12-month notice.
These farms are said to “present heightened or complex logistical transport challenges for Muller”.
Rob Hutchison, milk supply director for Muller Milk & Ingredients said: “We fully appreciate that these measures will be extremely unwelcome and destabilising for our farmer suppliers particularly in the north-east of Scotland, but the current situation is unviable and we must act.
“We completed the largest single investment in fresh milk processing in Scotland in more than a decade at our dairy in Bellshill last year and we will continue to do what we can to stimulate new demand for fresh milk.
“But with fresh milk already in 96% of the nation’s fridges and overall consumer demand for the product in marginal decline, the reality is that it is extremely unlikely that this sector will soak up the heightened levels of milk production from farms which we have seen.
“Our farm services team will now work closely with affected dairy farmers and we will do everything in our power to help them adjust to the changes which we must now make.”
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At the time Ian Smith, CEO of Müller milk & ingredients distribution said: “We fully understand the impact of this decision on our colleagues in Aberdeen and we will do everything we can to support those who don’t want to relocate, or for whom there are no roles.
“Sadly, it is a reality that the distribution model for fresh milk has changed and if we’re going to operate a sustainable fresh milk business in the short and long term, benefitting the fresh milk sector as a whole, we must adapt.”