Dairy Crest is scaling down its dairy ingredients operation at Chard, Somerset, in a bid to reduce its exposure to low margin commodity markets.
From July 9, production of skimmed milk products and bulk butter will cease at Chard, with 80 jobs likely to go. The site will, however, continue to produce premium alcoholic butters, sauces and creams for customers such as Waitrose.
By continuing to supply big manufacturers with ingredients from its new superdairy in Severnside, Gloucester, Dairy Crest will still be able to balance its milk supply efficiently, said chief executive Drummond Hall. "This is in line with our strategy to increase our focus on developing our added value and branded businesses and will significantly reduce our exposure to the commodity ingredients market.
"During the last year, significant new butter and powder capacity has come on stream [United Milk's new facility at Westbury], which has made it increasingly difficult to source the required level of milk at a commercially realistic price."

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