September 26, 2020


Belgium's biggest dairy cooperative to close milk plant in Schoten




Belgian dairy cooperative Milcobel plans to close its drinks department in Schoten, Antwerp, including ceasing its operations at its Schoten production facility.


The plans will also see the ceasing of the associated support services in Schoten and Bruges in West Flanders, reports Foodbev Media.


The company explained that the production plant in Schoten was "very outdated" and that the investment required was not feasible due to declining market demand and low or negative margins. Moreover, its drinks business has been losing for years, it added.


The closure of the drinks department would lead to the loss of 167 jobs, said Milcobel.


The affected employees questioned the rationale behind the closure of the department, as per a report from the Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.


Milcobel has reportedly begun a legally prescribed information and consultation procedure with its social partners.


Milcobel is the largest dairy cooperative in Belgium, with 2,525 dairy farmers as members and 2,000 employees at seven production locations.