First Milk announces new productivity initiatives at creameries

Following a thorough review of its manufacturing operations, First Milk has announced to employees at its Lake District and Haverfordwest creameries that they propose to make some changes to improve the productivity and efficiency of these sites.

First Milk CEO, Shelagh Hancock commented: “We have made significant capital investments at our manufacturing sites over the last few years. These investments will continue, as the amount of cheese that we are manufacturing will increase next year and is forecast to grow further in the future in line with demand from our customer base.

“However, in light of this we recognise that we need to improve the strength, efficiency and flexibility of our main manufacturing sites and make the assets work harder. This will allow us to utilise both sites better and deliver improved returns to our farmer members.

”The proposed changes would result in a reduction in headcount numbers, and it is proposed that around 20 roles are removed from the site structure at the Lake District Creamery, with around 10 roles being removed at our Haverfordwest Creamery.

“We recognise that the impact of these proposed changes is significant for the people affected and we are committed to treating people with respect and consideration as we move through a 30-day consultation period.

“At our manufacturing sites our specific focus is on driving more for less – producing consistent good quality cheese, while concentrating on high productivity and factory optimisation. These changes are part of delivering this strategy.”

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.