Jobs under threat at Blaydon based milk producer
Jun 4 2009 By David Old, The Journal
HUNDREDS of jobs are under threat after a milk production site went into receivership.
The Dairy Farmers of Britain, which employs 2,200 workers across three UK sites including Blaydon, in Gateshead, has struggled with the falling price of milk and dairy products.
The price of milk has plummeted in recent months forcing DFOB to make the move. But it comes as a blow for 600 farmer members across the North. It is feared many will not be paid for last month’s milk.
Blaydon is the only big milk production site in the region, manufacturing about 180 million litres of fresh milk, cream and orange juice each year, leaving Northumberland farmers having to transport milk to Leeds or Lockerbie in Scotland. The price of milk has dropped due to a worldwide increase in supply. The recession has also reduced the demand for luxury products such as cheese. Wholesale and retail power has also driven down value.
Dairy farmer Dennis Gibb co-owns Eachwick Red House Farm, near Newcastle, with his brother Richard.
The NFU dairy board member said: "It’s very worrying for DFOB members who will be wondering when they will be paid for their milk. Dairy farmers have been worried for a long time about this.
"It will be an awful pity if the site closes down as it is the only producer of any size in the North East. Let’s hope someone can take over the business and make a go of it Its all down to supply and demand, and the market is oversupplied. The world is awash with dairy products. Demand for dairy produce has also dropped due to recession. It’s a double whammy."