Dairy foods company Dairy Crest has confirmed its intention to close its Totnes plant in Devon, which will affect 164 jobs.
The announcement follows a strategic review of the ‘non-returnable container’ (NRC) operations in its dairies division. A consultation process with staff and unions will take place over the next 90 days.
Dairy Crest said existing glass bottle and NRC milk production will be transferred to other Dairy Crest sites with spare capacity.
Sinead Noble, corporate communications manager at Dairy Crest, told Personnel Today: “We have expressed our intention to close the Totnes plant [in] the autumn, and while relocation might affect a few workers, it will not be a majority.”
Dairy Crest’s announcement was met with anger by the Transport and General Workers Union section of super-union Unite.
Dave Springbett, regional industrial organiser of the T&G section of Unite, said: “Dairy Crest is probably the biggest single employer in Totnes. This closure will be a huge blow to the town.
“We have nearly 150 members there, and we’ll be in touch with them pretty quickly. We cannot let this closure plan go unchallenged.”
The union also fears for other jobs in the area if the plant is closed.