The UK arm of an international agricultural feed firm ForFarmers has announced it will close its site in Blandford, Dorset.

The closure of the firm's Blandford site is expected to lead to the loss of up to 30 jobs in the second quarter of 2019.

The feed volume that is currently manufactured by the Blandford mill will be transferred to ForFarmers’ facilities in Exeter and Portbury.

A spokesman for the firm said it was "in line with ForFarmers UK’s objective to optimise its supply chain".

ForFarmers UK operates 15 manufacturing sites - including both production and blending mills.

'Optimisation of supply chain'

A spokesman said: "In 2017, ForFarmers UK announced plans to rationalise the supply chain both in terms of modernising existing mills and in its footprint of site locations.

"This rationalisation is part of the previously announced £5 million reduction plan. During this process, the priority remains to maintain and improve customer satisfaction by consistently delivering good quality feed and excellent service performance."

The Blandford site was chosen because as one of the older ForFarmers UK sites it would require significant modifications to modernise it and improve its efficiency.

While moving production to the newly constructed Exeter mill and the recently upgraded Portbury mill would be less costly.

The current Blandford volume comprises conventional (compound) feed and organic feed. The plan is to relocate the production of conventional feed volume to the newly constructed Exeter mill and that of organic feed to Portbury, which has recently been equipped with additional raw material storage bins to support the production of organic feed.

A dedicated project team has been deployed to ensure a seamless transfer. Jointly with this relocation, ForFarmers UK is enhancing its delivery vehicle fleet to ensure that optimal quality of customer service can be maintained.

With sales of approximately 10 million tonnes of feed annually, ForFarmers is a market leader in Europe.

The company is active in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the UK and since July 2018 also in Poland. In 2017, ForFarmers had 2,325 employees and revenues amounted to over €2.2 billion.

The required consultation process leading up to the closure will start today.