Proposed closure of Arla Trevarrian Creamery

Following a significant decline in site volumes due to loss of key own-label cheese contracts, as well as continued instability in foodservice demand due to the ongoing pandemic, farmer-owned dairy company Arla Foods, is proposing to cease production at its Trevarrian Creamery in Cornwall, subject to consultation with employees at the site.

The proposal could result in the closure of Trevarrian Creamery by early summer 2021, with the potential loss or relocation of up to 37 jobs.

The site produces a range of brie, camembert and other cheeses predominantly under local brands or own-label retailer brands. Volumes at the site have been in decline in the past 3 years, and this development has now been significantly worsened by the loss of a number of key own-label cheese contracts on top of the continued instability in foodservice demand due to the ongoing pandemic.

This means that Arla believes that maintaining production at the site is no longer financially viable for Arla Foods and its farmer-owners.

”As a farmer-owned dairy company, our mission is to return the highest value for our farmers’ milk, sustaining a robust milk price for them that allows them to keep investing in sustainable dairy farming for the future and high animal-welfare standards. Unfortunately, the drop in production volumes for the site means we believe it is no longer financial responsible for us to keep our Trevarrian facility in operation. We have explored multiple options including additional volume opportunities for the site, but see no other alternative than to propose a closure of the site,” says Alison Rance, Vice President of Production for Arla UK.

”We recognise that this will be a difficult time for all those colleagues impacted by these proposals and our priority right now is to support them to manage this situation as best we can. We are entering into full consultation with all colleagues affected by this proposal, and their trade union representatives. If the proposal goes ahead we are committed to supporting affected colleagues at this difficult time and will do everything we can to support them in their search for suitable alternative employment, either within Arla or elsewhere.”

If the proposal goes ahead, Arla will look to recruit colleagues into vacant positions within their site network and will set up links with local job centres, and provide outplacement support, as well as working with other local food producers to find suitable vacancies.

It is envisaged that the milk from Arla farmers in the area would instead go primarily to Arla’s sites at Taw Valley and Westbury, if the proposal goes ahead.

The remaining products currently made at the Trevarrian Creamery cannot be produced elsewhere in Arla, due to their required production process and compositions. Arla therefore expects to cease supply to customers of these products by the end of early summer 2021 following consultation process.

In the last three years alone, Arla has invested more than £186 million in its UK production infrastructure to support the company’s long-term commitment to supply consumers in Great Britain with high-quality, sustainable dairy products. Arla is a farmer cooperative owned by 9,400 farmers, including 2,200 in the UK. The company continues to operate 10 production sites in the UK with a total of 3,300 employees.


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Elizabeth Newton

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