MP for South Derbyshire, Mrs Heather Wheeler, said:
“Following on from my earlier conversation with Muller, as promised, I have had further discussions with them concerning their Project Darwin where they want to have 90% or better utilisation of their dairy processing plants whereas they are at 79% at best now. Therefore, they state, clearly changes will need to be made.
The 45 day consultation ends in mid-June and they are planning a series of meetings from now until then with staff, unions and customers. There are many options going forward, particularly as they own the site.
They have confirmed that overall they are investing £650million in the UK and see a future for dairy products being processed here, whether that is milk, cheese or milk products including the possibility of dried milk products.
Finally they have told me that there is no criticism of the Foston employees - this holistic review of all of their sites is a matter brought to a head because of over capacity of production with milk consumption reducing in the UK.”
Mrs Wheeler went on to say:
“Muller have promised to keep me informed on the negotiations and any help I can give with a way forward for the plant naturally I will give. I am pleased that Muller appreciate the quality of the local workforce and the milk produced by our farmers and I believe there are still opportunities for this plant.
I look forward to more conversations with Muller in June."