Lakeland Dairies has announced it will close down three dairy production sites as part of its 'new strategic direction'.
The co-operative, which operates in Northern Ireland and the northern segment of the Republic of Ireland, will close some sites in June 2024 at the earliest.
A milk production facility and milk drying facilities in Co Monaghan, RoI, will close, as well as a butter churning, packing and powder storage plant in Co Down, NI.
The milk production facility will be transferred to a site in Co Cavan, RoI, which was given the green light by Lakeland Dairies’ board 'after detailed and careful consideration'.
The Co Down butter plant, located in Banbridge, will be put on the market 'shortly'.
The cross-border dairy co-op said "regrettably, redundancies will be necessary to realise this strategy".
Exact details and numbers has not yet been confirmed, but it is anticipated that 78 jobs will be impacted by the announcement.
During the course of this year, Lakeland, which is supplied by 3,200 farms, said it had been assessing how best to create further processing efficiencies.
Its Group CEO, Colin Kelly, said the co-op was "approaching a decade that will be different from the one that the industry has just experienced".
“The industry has come through a period of significant volume growth following the removal of milk quotas in 2015," he explained.
"Lakeland Dairies invested over €350m to support the ambition of our farm families to produce this additional milk and meet the latent demand at farm level for expansion.
"The next decade will be less about large volume growth and more about value-added growth and adding capability throughout the business.
"This will be done to drive the best possible returns for our farmers and to continue to offer our loyal customers the highest-quality products while supporting our people and our communities."
Lakeland Dairies announced that it had commenced an engagement and consultation process with staff and their unions.
Mr Kelly added: “We do appreciate that this announcement creates uncertainty for our colleagues and their families.
"We will work closely with them and support them throughout this process in which they will continue to be treated fairly and with respect."