Arla Foods has announced plans to cease production at its Trevarrian Creamery in Cornwall, following a significant decline in demand for its cheese products.

Over the past three years, Arla says volumes at the Cornish site have been decreasing and the development has worsened following a loss of key own-label cheese contracts and the instability of foodservice amid the pandemic.

The proposal – which is subject to consultation with employees at the site – could result in the closure of the creamery by early summer this year and the loss or relocation of up to 37 jobs.

Trevarrian Creamery produces a range of brie, camembert and other cheeses predominantly under local or own-label retailer brands. Arla expects to cease supply of these products to customers by summer 2021, as they are unable to be manufactured elsewhere due to their required production process and composition.

Alison Rance, VP of production for Arla UK, said: “Unfortunately, the drop in production volumes for the site means we believe it is no longer financial responsible for us to keep our Trevarrian facility in operation. We have explored multiple options including additional volume opportunities for the site, but see no other alternative than to propose a closure of the site.

“We are entering into full consultation with all colleagues affected by this proposal, and their trade union representatives. If the proposal goes ahead we are committed to supporting affected colleagues at this difficult time and will do everything we can to support them in their search for suitable alternative employment, either within Arla or elsewhere.”

If the proposal goes ahead, Arla envisages that the milk from its farmers in the area will instead go primarily to its sites at Taw Valley and Westbury.

Following the closure of the site, Arla will continue to operate 10 production sites in the UK, with a total of 3,300 employees.