Arla Foods said it had now closed down its Hatfield Peverel site after 32 drivers transferred to Bidvest Logistics.

An Arla spokeswoman said: “Following an extensive consultation process, Arla Hatfield Peverel has closed this month and we would like to thank everyone at the site for their continued professionalism and commitment during this time.

“We have worked closely with our colleagues throughout and considered a wide range of alternative options to mitigate the number of people impacted.

"A team of colleagues will remain in role on-site to support the decommissioning whilst a number of people are moving internally to other Arla sites.”

In June, the company expressed surprise after the Unite union said it had begun legal proceedings, claiming Arla had failed to properly consult the workforce and their union when it announced 230 jobs were under threat.

The food company said it had liaised with Unite throughout the consultation process.

The Arla Foods spokeswoman added: “Through our work with the local job centre and our on-site employer fair, a large number of colleagues have found or awaiting for confirmation of alternative employment outside of Arla or establishing their own businesses.”

Unite had not responded as this article was published.