Farming News - Tomlinson’s Dairies enters administration - 190 jobs at risk

Tomlinson’s Dairies enters administration - 190 jobs at risk

14 Oct 2019
Frontdesk / Livestock

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is seeking urgent clarity on the reasons behind the decision by Tomlinson’s Dairies to close its doors and refuse milk.

This shock decision came in with almost immediate effect and has left many dairy producers in Wales scrambling to find another processor for their milk.

The company has now gone into administration leaving 190 jobs at risk.

Tomlinsons Dairies sign

FUW Vice President Eifion Huws said: “We are extremely concerned for our members who are affected and who have contacted us. We had no prior warning and are extremely disappointed that farmers are left in a predicament where they have no one to collect their milk. 

“If the speculation is true, and we have lost yet another major processor in Wales, this will come as a severe blow to farmers, workers and the industry as a whole at a time when significant efforts are being made to bolster and build on our unique Welsh brand.”

The decision by Tomlinson’s to cease milk collection comes after a significant £22 million funding boost in 2017 which saw an expansion of their cold storage facilities and the creation of 70 jobs. 

“We will seek further clarification on the situation when we meet with Lesley Griffiths this week. This will be of major concern given that the dairy is in a constituency which neighbours her own. We will also be discussing developments at a forthcoming meeting with constituency MP Susan Jones.”

One farmer affected, Keith Thompson said he was lucky enough to find another firm able to process the 4,500 litres of milk his herd produces daily.

"Our immediate priority is to secure a milk buyer," he said. "That's why my milk is on its way to Lancashire."

He said he had received a text message from an agricultural agent advising him to find a new milk processor on Sunday morning.

"I'm desperately concerned - dairy farming is something myself, my wife and family have done all our lives."

Another Tomlinsons supplier, Wrexham dairy farm JH Morris, said it received a phone call on Saturday advising it to contact one of three alternate milk processors, including Cheshire-based County Milk, to arrange milk collection.

"We don't know what's happening," said Judith Morris.

Mark Langslow, a director at County Milk, said he was "surprised" to start receiving calls on Saturday from worried farmers asking him to accept milk supplies.

He said he had not received any advance notice from Tomlinsons, but pledged to help farmers.

"I don't know the underlying cause that has prompted this," he added.

The business was established in 1983 by brothers Philip and John Tomlinson, expanding from a doorstep round using milk from their family dairy farm in Minera.