Milk plant closure raises fears for future of dairy farming
NFU says loss of Aberdeen dairy could threaten viability of industry in the north east.
The closure of a milk plant in Aberdeen could threaten dairy farming across the north east, NFU Scotland has claimed.
Nearly 100 jobs will be lost at Muller's Aberdeen dairy, with another 125 under threat at a plant in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.
The north east dairy will shut "as soon as reasonably practical", while East Kilbride will stay open for up to two years.
Jean McLean, dairy farmer and NFU Scotland's milk committee representative for the north east, said: "The announcement by Muller to close its Tullos plant in Aberdeenshire is deeply disappointing and could impact the viability of the dairy industry in the north east of Scotland.
"Many businesses are not in a good place and this will leave many considering if they have a future in dairying.
"NFU Scotland has been working to reach a resolution since the original announcement and will continue to work with Opportunity North East, which will continue its work on the feasibility study.
"There is still full cooperation for the feasibility study to be completed, with full support of NFU Scotland, and will seek to give options to producers."
Muller has offered to keep buying milk from the 43 farmers who supply its Aberdeen dairy but only if they pay to transport it to North Lanarkshire for processing.
The 1.75p a litre charge could cost the average farmer upwards of £26,000 a year.