Drivers at Muller Wiseman's Pensilva depot face uncertainty

Drivers working at Muller Wiseman Dairies’ Pensilva distribution depot in Cornwall are facing uncertainty following the milk manufacturer’s announcement that it was launching a statutory 30-day consultation over the future of the site.

Muller said 58 employee jobs in total are affected by the consultation, of which 29 are lorry drivers.

The milk giant said the consultation follows a reduction in milk supplied from the depot and changes in customer requirements with large volumes of fresh milk increasingly being supplied directly to regional distribution centres rather than smaller deliveries to individual stores.

A spokesman for the company told CM that a decision on the site has yet to be made and that Muller was looking at all possible outcomes for the depot, including the option of drivers transferring to the business’s Bridgwater depot in the event of a closure.

Union Usdaw, which is representing workers at the affected site, said it is “deeply concerned” about the future of Pensilva, but was unable to comment further whilst the consultation was ongoing.

Carl Ravenhall, MD at Müller Wiseman Dairies, said the company ran a strong network across the UK but needed to adapt to marketplace shifts.

He added: “Many individual stores continue to look to us to supply them with milk every day, but some customers now have the capability to manage distribution themselves using regional distribution centres, and no longer require us to deliver directly to each of their stores.

“We operate in a very competitive environment and it is right that we properly review the viability of this depot going forward, taking the views and ideas of our employees and their representatives into account over the next month, before arriving at a decision.“

The business has underlined its intention to maintain its service to customers in Cornwall and Devon using its dairy and depot infrastructure in the South-West of England regardless of the outcome of the consultation.

The 30-day consultation began on 16 May.