AROUND 10 jobs are to be lost at the Haverfordwest Creamery, First Milk has announced this morning (Tuesday).

The move follows what First Milk has called 'a thorough review of its manufacturing operations.'

A further 20 jobs are expected to go at the company's creamery in the Lake District.

Employees at both sites were told of the developments this morning. 

CEO, Shelagh Hancock said: “We have made significant capital investments at our manufacturing sites over the last few years.

"These investments will continue, as the amount of cheese that we are manufacturing will increase next year and is forecast to grow further in the future in line with demand from our customer base.

“However, in light of this we recognise that we need to improve the strength, efficiency and flexibility of our main manufacturing sites and make the assets work harder.

"This will allow us to utilise both sites better and deliver improved returns to our farmer members.

"The proposed changes would result in a reduction in headcount numbers, and it is proposed that around 20 roles are removed from the site structure at the Lake District Creamery, with around 10 roles being removed at our Haverfordwest Creamery.

“We recognise that the impact of these proposed changes is significant for the people affected and we are committed to treating people with respect and consideration as we move through a 30-day consultation period.

“At our manufacturing sites our specific focus is on driving more for less – producing consistent good quality cheese, while concentrating on high productivity and factory optimisation. These changes are part of delivering this strategy.”

Consultation with affected employees will begin on Thursday and will continue for a period of 30 days

First Milk said it had briefed trade unions and "have committed to working closely and constructively with them over the coming weeks and months."

Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb, said:“This is very disappointing news and a huge blow for the workforce.

"The Haverfordwest Creamery is a high quality facility with a good reputation. First Milk has received substantial public investment over the years to improve operations and safeguard the future of the factory.

"Ten jobs is a big cut to make at the site so I hope there are no deeper underlying problems. I trust every effort is being made by First Milk to avoid any compulsory redundancies."