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Müller set to relocate Aberdeen depot putting jobs at risk

The firm is proposing a move to existing sites in central Scotland after a review into operations.

Müller: Set to relocate from Aberdeen.
Müller: Set to relocate from Aberdeen. Google

Müller is set to relocate its Aberdeen depot, putting up to 50 jobs at risk, following a review into operations.

The firm, Britain's largest producer of flavoured milk, cream, butter and dairy ingredients, is proposing a move to existing sites in central Scotland which are closer to its regional distribution centres.

The proposed relocation will create 22 new jobs in central Scotland but will put the existing positions in Aberdeen at risk.

It follows the recent completion of a £15m upgrade to its Bellshill dairy which is now capable of processing 370 million litres of fresh milk products each year.

The review will now be subject of a 30-day collective consultation process.

The company said, should they decide to proceed with the proposal, affected employees will be offered the chance to relocate.

The review comes against a backdrop of declining consumption of fresh milk and significant changes in retailing, including a greater requirement from customers for deliveries to large retail distribution centres, which are predominantly located in the central belt.

Ian Smith, CEO of Müller Milk & Ingredients Distribution 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."

Usdaw union, who represent workers at the depot, says their members are "devastated" by the announcement.

Kate Cumming, the union's area Organiser, says: "Usdaw members working in Müller's Aberdeen depot are clearly devastated by this announcement. 

"We will now enter into meaningful consultations with the company to interrogate the business case for this proposal. In the meantime we are providing our members with the support, advice and representation they need at this very difficult time."

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