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Union on Bute to Meet Concerned Dairy Producers

An NFU Scotland delegation was on the Isle of Bute today (Monday, 22 March) meeting with the island’s dairy farmers in reaction to the bombshell announcement that the local creamery is likely to close.

Dairy company First Milk is proposing to end more than 40 years of cheese-making at its Rothesay creamery by closing the plant and, instead, plans to transport the milk supplied by the dairy farmers on the island across to the Scottish mainland.

NFU Scotland President, Jim McLaren said:

“Last week’s announcement on the planned closure of the creamery came as a bombshell to dairy farmers on the island and, justifiably, has left them feeling angry and uncertain about their future.

“After the initial shock of the announcement, those dairy farmers now have the opportunity to look at what their future may hold.  As a Union, we have a job to do in ensuring that the producers have all the information and support they need so that any decisions they take are in their best long-term interests.  

“They have reassurances from First Milk that their milk will continue to be collected and transported to the mainland for processing.   That is one option but there may be others and the Union will be in discussions with First Milk and other parties in the coming days to investigate any opportunities that may or may not exist.

“Bute, as an island, has huge natural advantages in terms of climate and land that make it an ideal place to produce quality milk and turn that into a high value brand such as the Isle of Bute Cheddar.  If milk production and processing has a future here then it is important to the whole community that we help dairy farmers look at all the possibilities.”

Notes to Editors

  • NFU Scotland President, Jim McLaren; Milk policy manager George Jamieson and Regional Manager Lucy Sumsion met with Isle of Bute dairy farmers in the Kingarth Hotel, Isle of Bute today (Monday, 22 March).
  • First Milk announced proposals to stop production at its Rothesay creamery on the Isle of Bute on Thursday, 18 March. This will potentially affect up to 19 people working at the site. All milk produced on Bute by the island’s 14 remaining dairy farmers currently goes to the Rothesay creamery. First Milk will now enter into a formal consultation process with employees at the Rothesay creamery.
  • First Milk, which has 550 members in Scotland, also operates creameries on the Mull of Kintyre at Campbeltown and on the Isle of Arran.

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 48/10


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