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Guernsey Dairy - temporary restriction of milk supply

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Wednesday 08 May 2013

The Guernsey Dairy regrets to announce that operational difficulties at its St Andrew's site will temporarily reduce the availability of local milk supplies. It is hoped that this problem will last for no more that the next 72 hours whilst repairs are made locally to faulty machinery. Milk production should be restored to normal by the end of the week.

Dairy staff have been working around the clock since the problem first occurred (on Tuesday 7 May) to overcome a breakdown in a key part of equipment that has halted the use of the main processing system. Milk is now being processed through the much smaller processing plant that is normally used only to handle the Island's organic milk.

This equipment handles a much smaller throughput and so Dairy staff are working a 24 hour shift pattern to keep milk processing and packing going. Unfortunately the output of this secondary plant is not enough to keep up with Island demand and other steps are being taken to ensure other supplies are provided.

Deputy Kevin Stewart, Minister, Commerce and Employment Department explained "the Board has given approval for the Dairy to agree, on its behalf, to a limited importation of milk by major retailers for retail sale in their own stores. The milk is only to be imported for a short period of time until the faulty equipment is repaired and the Dairy is back in full operation.

My Board was pleased to learn of the fast, thorough and professional response of Dairy staff to this problem and for the support shown by all concerned" said Deputy Stewart.

Despite these arrangements and the continuing, but reduced output from the Dairy's secondary production plant, the Dairy expects there to be shortages affecting customers for the next few days. A consignment of UHT milk from the Jersey Dairy should be on the Island by Wednesday afternoon to help mitigate the temporary impacts.

The Dairy recognises the significance this disruption will have on supplies and has worked in collaboration with Guernsey Milk Retailers Association (GMRA) to agree a prioritisation plan. This includes protecting supplies to hospitals and residential care.

The first supplies of alternative fresh milk should be in some local shops by Thursday 9 May. If the equipment repair does proceed as anticipated, supplies of Guernsey Dairy milk will be fully available by Friday 10 May.

As the sole supplier of Guernsey Dairy milk and Guernsey Dairy milk products the Guernsey Dairy is acutely aware of its obligations to all its loyal Island customers and sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused by this temporary supply shortage. Customers can be assured that the Guernsey Dairy will do all it can to restore production to normal as soon as possible.

The Dairy is grateful to distributors, retailers, local companies, and colleagues off Island for their support during these difficulties. Updates on supply will be provided each morning, to the Guernsey media, until full service is restored.


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