JOBS at dairy giant Muller’s Stonehouse plant could be at risk after it was announced that the company is proposing to relocate some operations to other sites.
The company is reviewing where it manufactures butter, potted cream and FRiji products.
A 45 day consultation begins on Monday over restructuring operations at the site as part of an efficiency drive.
The Stonehouse site, Muller Dairy Severnside in Oldends Lane, produces butter, potted cream, FRijj milkshake, bulk cream, fresh milk and powder.
Production areas at risk are FRiji, butter and potted cream.
All other products manufactured at the site will not be affected by the review.
The company says production of these products at the site compares unfavourably in terms of cost and complexity with other sites.
A spokesman for Muller Milk and Ingredients said: “In the event that a decision is taken to proceed with the proposal, affected employees will be offered opportunities to relocate or will be supported should this not be possible.”
Operations director Rob Hutchison said: “Whilst MMI has made significant progress in the past year, our business is still loss making.
“We must maintain our momentum if we are to achieve sustainable profitability.
“Costs of production at Severnside is higher than any of our other sites and this review will look at how we can best meet the needs of our customers in a manner that is much more simple and cost effective.
“We are taking action to ensure we can achieve cost leadership in everything that we do, while meeting the requirements of our customers both now and in the future.
“We understand that this is an unsettling time for our employees and will work hard with them and their representatives during this period to find the right solutions.”
The review is part of the company’s £100m Project Darwin programme.
Bulk butter is currently produced at both Severnside and in Market Drayton in Shropshire, with the latter having the capability to produce packet butter which is a key focus of the business.
Production of potted cream is also low at Severnside as the demand is very seasonal, the company said.
It’s also said the cost of producing FRiji in Stonehouse is high.
Mr Hutchinson said: “Without considerable investment, opportunities to improve and evolve the FRiji brand on site are limited.”