Young’s revealed that the jobs would be axed at the Amble factory as “no viable alternative” to moving production to its Grimbsy site had been found.
The move follows the discovery, earlier this year, of serious product quality problems in the fish cakes produced at the site.
Pete Ward, chief operating officer of Young’s Seafood said: “This is not a decision that has been taken lightly. The team here at Border Laird have put a lot of effort into exploring this issue and options for fish cake production.
“They have worked hard during this challenging time and are a huge credit to the whole workforce. However, we have to ensure we have a sustainable plan in place to service the fish cake customer contracts.”
Ward also said it was now the firm’s priority to ensure that employees affected by the decision get “the support they need”.
Young’s has made 17 employees at the site compulsorily redundant, with a further 14 member of staff taking voluntary redundancy.
The firm revealed that all fish cake production at the site had now been stopped as a result. The processing of langoustines will continue until the consultation is completed.
The site was acquired by Young’s after former owner Cumbrian Seafoods went into administration in December last year. As a result the firm’s customer contracts and equipment were acquired from the administrator by Young’s owner Lions Capital.
Rising raw material costs
Cumbrian administrator PriceWaterhouseCoopers identified rising raw material costs and reductions in business activity as having played a key role in the firm’s decision to go into administration.
FoodManufacture.co.uk reported in January that Young’s would axe 550 jobs at three former Cumbrian sites in Seaham, Whitehaven and the Border Laird factory in Amble, Northumberland.
The decision was met with anger from Easington MP, Grahame Morris, who described the decision as “bitterly disappointing”.
Speaking at the time, he told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “Less than a year ago, Cumbrian employed 500 people and had expansion plans to increase that number to 700.
“The company had just invested £25M and has one of the most modern supply chains. So, news of these job losses is bitterly disappointing.”