NORWAY – Tine, a Norwegian dairy cooperative, has announced a restructuring of six of its domestic facilities in response to declining milk consumption.

The affected sites will include its dairy plants in Sem, Kristiansand, Sola, Frya, Lom, and Skjåk.

The restructuring is expected to result in the elimination of approximately 100 full-time positions, affecting around 250 employees in total. Some of these employees will be offered roles at other plants.

As part of the restructuring plan, Tine will close its dairy facilities in Sem and Kristiansand by the end of 2025.

The milk and cream bottling lines at Sola and Frya will also be discontinued, with Sola’s closure scheduled for next year and Frya’s for 2025. Sola will still be used for storage, while Frya will prioritize its yoghurt, crème fraiche, and cottage cheese production line, which has shown “positive” development.

Operations at Tine’s plants in Lom and Skjåk, which are primarily dedicated to the manufacture of brown cheese, will continue on a smaller scale due to shrinking demand for the product in Norway.

According to the company, brown cheese consumption per person in Norway has decreased by at least 30%. over the past 15 years.

Despite the decline in consumption, Tine plans to invest in a new pot-boiled brown cheese product, developed using a traditional recipe from the Gudbrandsalen Valley, to rejuvenate interest in the product.

“If we succeed in this, and the consumer is on the journey, it can create a positive development for brown cheese,” Tine’s Executive Director of Supply Chain, Christian Granlund, stated.

Some production lines from Lom and Skjåk will be moved to Byrkjelo or Storsteinnes, resulting in job losses. The exact number of job cuts at each of these sites is yet to be determined. Product distribution is expected to continue as usual at Tine’s logistics centre.

These changes come as milk consumption in Norway continues to decline, resulting in excess capacity at Tine’s plants. Sales of the company’s unflavored milk products have decreased by 40% in the past decade.

Increased imports of dairy products in Norway and heightened market competition are contributing factors to this trend.

“Combined with significant imports and strong competition, we must be conscious of our responsibility to build Tine’s plant structure for the future,” Tine Chairman Marit Haugen highlighted.

Meanwhile, Tine estimates that these changes will result in annual savings of approximately Nkr100 million (US$9 million) starting in 2026.

Last November, Tine announced a company-wide restructuring that led to the shutdown of its Ålesund dairy plant and approximately 30 job cuts.

Tine, operating under a cooperative structure, has 8,291 owners and processes milk from around 7,000 farms.

In 2022, the company recorded revenue of US$2.241 billion, representing a 3.4% increase from 2021, with 81% of net income derived from the Norwegian market.