560 jobs axed as two dairies close

Around 560 jobs were axed today after two dairies owned by the failed Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFB) co-operative were closed by receivers.

DFB's Bridgend dairy is shutting down and its entire 279-strong workforce being made redundant, while receivers also announced the closure of the Blaydon dairy in the North East after sales talks collapsed, with most of its 290 staff being let go.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said it was continuing efforts over the weekend to sell 19 depots related to the Blaydon dairy, with the future of a further 329 jobs hanging in the balance.

The depots are expected to close by Monday should buyers not be found.

Today's moves follow the closure of DFB's Lincoln dairy, with the loss of 127 staff, earlier this week.

The Blaydon dairy was the last of the dairies in DFB's liquids arm.

PwC said it had been unable to sell the businesses with the added pressure of customer withdrawal forcing the closures to avoid further losses.

Stephen Oldfield, joint receiver and manager of DFB, said they had worked "very hard" to find buyers for the various parts of the DFB business.

"However, the liquids business has suffered continuing losses and recent withdrawal of customers has compounded the problem.

"In the absence of buyers, we have already had to close the Lincoln and Bridgend dairies. There were urgent attempts today to secure a rescue deal for Blaydon with support from One North East and Defra, but the deal collapsed at lunchtime today when the buyer withdrew."

The DFB network collapsed last week, putting around 2,200 jobs at risk and dealing a major blow to its network of farmers, many of whom have lost life savings that were tied up with the co-operative.

It had 1,800 farmer members supplying more than a billion litres of milk to the food and drink industry, comprising 10% of UK production.

DFB called in receivers following heavy losses and the end of its contract to supply milk to the Co-operative supermarket.

Receivers said it was unable to pay farmers an economical price for their milk, leading to half of its members resigning since November.

The group had been offloading subsidiaries in an attempt to raise money, only recently selling off its Nene Valley packaged cream processor to Meadow Foods.

Earlier this week it was announced that dairy giant Milk Link agreed to buy the co-operative's Llandyrnog site in Wales, while Seriously Strong Cheddar maker Lactalis McLelland bought south Somerset-based Lubborn Creamery. Receivers said the deal secured the transfer of 500 jobs.

Today Mr Oldfield said receivers had contacted local competitors in Bridgend and Blaydon to help customers find alternative milk sources from next week.

PwC is negotiating to sell depots connected with Bridgend at Neath, Cardiff, Ebbw Vale and Bridgend.

Those depots connected with the Blaydon dairy are at Carlisle, Hillsborough, Blaydon, South Shields, Benton, Aberdare, Leeds, Tweedside, Scarborough, Team Valley, Norton, Cheshunt, Yorkshire, Portsmouth, Shiregreen, South Teesside, Bedlington, Enfield and Nantwich.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

SThree: Talent Acquisition Consultant

£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...

Day In a Page

John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most