Dairy Farmers of Britain Announce Closures

Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFB) has announced it is closing dairies in Portsmouth, Hants, and the Fole Dairy near Uttoxeter, Staffs.

It is also proposing the rationalisation of distribution depots at Portsmouth, Cheshunt, Leeds and Lincoln.

Some jobs will also go in reorganisation at the head office in Nantwich, Cheshire.

DFB, a co-operative of more than 2,000 farmers, is blaming rising costs over the past year and financial under-performance by the dairies.

The following measures have been announced by the company today:

  • The Portsmouth dairy will close on 28 February 2009, affecting 186.
  • The Fole dairy near Uttoxeter will close on 28 March 2009, affecting 246 staff.
  • The Leeds depot will merge into the Sheffield depot, affecting 59 staff.
  • The Lincoln depot rounds will transfer into other depots in the Lincolnshire area.
  • The Cheshunt dairy in Hertfordshire will also be closing.

DFB said: "The proposed restructuring programme is designed to return the business to profitability in the next financial year.

"We recognise that this announcement impacts upon our employees at a difficult time and we will be working closely with employees, their representatives and local employment agencies to secure alternative employment for as many members of staff as possible."

Dairy Farmers of Britain chairman Rob Knight resigned last week. Farmer director Lord Grantchester, who has been named interim chairman, said the trading environment presented challenges for all dairy businesses.