DALE Farm could cease operation at its Kendal site as it looks to restructure the Great Britain arm of its business.

The co-operative said the restructure could result in a proposal to close its facilities in Kendal and Rowan Glen, Newton Stewart. It employs around 200 staff at these sites.

Dairy farmers in Cumbria supplying the Kendal site at Mintsfeet Industrial Estate at Shap Road, have been told their contracts will be unaffected.

Dale Farm has ten locations around the UK, employing over 1,300 people, and is headquartered in Northern Ireland.

The company said that these two manufacturing sites, where it produces desserts, yogurts and cottage cheese, 'compete in a market characterised by excess capacity and declining demand'.

Aside from the market challenges, the sites are experiencing significant inflation and require major investment to remain viable, it added.

“This consideration has been prompted by a thorough review of Dale Farm’s operations, examining which elements of the business are sustainable for the future,’’ it said.

In a statement, Dale Farm said it recognised and appreciated the 'loyalty, hard work and commitment' from employees at both sites.

It is now entering into a period of consultation with the people who are affected.

“Dale Farm will work closely with all employees and representatives, providing ongoing support throughout this process,’’ it said.

But there were reassurances for its farmer suppliers. “Existing arrangements with Dale Farm’s GB farmer members will not be affected," it said.

“The co-operative will continue to collect and utilise their milk and they will continue to be members of the Dale Farm co-operative."

Dale Farm is supplied by milk from 1,300 dairy farmers across the UK.

Originally established in 1953 and acquired by the Dale Farm Group in 2004. Kendal produce an expansive range of dairy products for the retail sector including yogurts, fermented creams, cottage cheese, trifles and cheesecakes, using milk from Cumbria farmers