A DAIRY farming giant which employs more than 170 people in South Somerset has announced that jobs are set to be cut.

Yeo Valley employs more than 1,700 people across the South West, including 174 at their site near Crewkerne.

Last week, they revealed plans to invest more than £1million in modernising the Crewkerne farm,

However, this will also see them wind down milk-packing activities.

Karl Tucker, managing director of Yeo Valley Farms (Production) said: “As we propose to draw milk bottling activities to a close, we will shortly be announcing significant investments in Yeo Valley Crewkerne that will enable us to further enhance our product offering in our core markets of yogurt, desserts and frozen.”

“We are sensitive that there will be a period of change at Yeo Valley Crewkerne which may affect a number of our employees, so there will be a period of consultation to explore how we can minimise the impact during this transition phase.

“These investments will position the site at the heart of Yeo Valley’s core activities.”

Yeo Valley is Britain’s biggest organic brand. It was established in 1994 and makes organic yogurt, ice cream, cream, milk, butter and compote.

Mr Tucker added: “We are fully committed to the Crewkerne site and we are excited about its future plans.

“Our investment will be in excess of £1million and will involve modernising the dairy and adding new capabilities to the site.

“This will involve a period of engineering works during 2019 and then the incremental growth of jobs as the site becomes fully operational.

“In the meantime, the Crewkerne site will continue to run its fruit operation and elements of the diary will remain open, for example packing cream.”

It is currently not known how many staff could be made redundant.

Mr Tucker said: “We are currently consulting with a minority of the staff based at the Crewkerne site about changes to their terms and conditions.

“We hope that this period of change will result in as few redundancies as possible as we have roles both at Crewkerne and across the Yeo Valley business for all involved.”