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Chocolate firm announces factory closure

By Gary Scattergood , 05-Dec-2012
Last updated on 05-Dec-2012 at 13:22 GMT

Barry Callebaut is to close its Chester plant, which could lead to 25 job losses
Barry Callebaut is to close its Chester plant, which could lead to 25 job losses

Chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut is to close its Chester plant in a move that could lead to 25 job losses.

The firm said it planned to concentrate its UK liquid and solid industrial chocolate production at its Banbury factory.

Barry Callebaut said in a statement: “The company will increase the production capacities at this [Banbury] site, also broadening the product range for the company’s customers. The consolidation of activities in Banbury is following a trend towards more customer deliveries in solid form.

Relocate manufacturing activities

“In this context, Barry Callebaut will relocate its current manufacturing activities in Chester to the Banbury factory. Since 1992, the company has been operating a line for the production of liquid milk chocolate in Chester with an annual capacity of 25,000t.”

It added that a consultation process had been started with staff in Chester to “guarantee a socially responsible procedure".

The closing of the Chester plant is planned for the end of March 2013.

Members of the Unite union at the Banbury plant had threatened strike action in September in a pay dispute. However, industrial action was called off after the company increased its pay offer from 1.5% to 2.65%.

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