The Farmers' Union of Wales warned today that the closure of the only major milk bottling plant in Wales could result in a withdrawal of bulk tanker collections from many dairy farms in remote areas.

"Today’s closure by the receivers of Dairy Farmers of Britain’s Bridgend plant is a great shame for the industry," said Eifion Huws, chairman of the union’s milk and dairy produce committee.

"It gives us great cause for concern that milk collections from small farms in remote areas will be threatened. Even before today’s closure of the Bridgend plant many dairy farmers in West Wales were worried whether their milk would be picked up by tankers in future.

"I fear we could soon be left with the ridiculous situation of numerous farmers having to drive many miles to deliver their milk to processors and that milk then transported back for sale by retailers in the same localities.

"We are constantly being encouraged to cut down on food miles yet we are poised to increase food miles at a time when fuel costs are rising rapidly," added Mr Huws, who is also a victim of the DFB receivership as a member of the co-operative.

The Bridgend plant was closed with the loss of 279 jobs the day after receivers announced Milk Link Ltd had bought DFB’s cheese-producing creamery at Llandyrnog, Denbighshire, which employs 170.