Following on from the decision not to renew its lease of the Fivemiletown Creamery site in Co Tyrone in 2019, Dale Farm is set to rationalise its processing capability further, with operations to cease at two of its three sites in Britain.

In a statement, the co-op confirmed that it is considering stopping operations at Kendal in Cumbria and its Rowan Glen factory at Newton Stewart in Scotland.

The facility at Kendal has been part of Dale Farm since 2004 and mainly concentrates on the production of yogurts, cottage cheese and cheesecake. Rowan Glen was acquired in 2002 and mainly focuses on the production of yogurts for retail and food service customers. Around 200 people are employed across the two sites.

Dale Farm also has a third facility in Britain, the Ash Manor business in Wrexham. It is a cheese slicing and packing business, acquired in 2015.

Review of operations

According to the co-op, the decision to consider stopping operations at Rowan Glen and Kendal has been prompted by a review of all business areas within the company, which examined whether the various sites are sustainable into the future.

“These two manufacturing sites compete in a market characterised by excess capacity and declining demand for their primary products. Aside from the market challenges, the sites are experiencing significant inflation and require major investment in order to remain viable,” reads the statement from Dale Farm.

The co-op will now enter into a period of consultation with those impacted.

Dale Farm also has around 50 milk suppliers in Britain, which will not be affected by the changes.

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