Hain, which operates a large food-to-go facility in Luton, has not confirmed that production at Churchill will switch to Luton, but said that “a strategic review of the two businesses will begin with the goal of maximising synergies. Consultations with employees will take place regarding any proposed plans developed during the strategic review.”
HR boss Graham Trevor told FoodManufacture.co.uk: "It is too early to say at this stage as we haven't completed our strategic review of the two businesses."
Hain Celestial recently switched production from its Daily Bread sandwich plant in London to its factory in Luton in a bid to secure the future of the site.
Luton’s future was thrown into question last year following the loss of an M&S contract that accounted for 90% of its output.
Production has since been transferred to rivals, although Hain carried on supplying ham, cheese and pickle products to M&S from Luton until April this year.
Long-term future for Luton factory?
Speaking to FoodManufacture.co.uk earlier this year, Trevor said: “We still need to bring in more volume to secure the longer term future of the site.”
Bosses were in discussions with several potential customers in a bid to secure new business, said Trevor. “We are a very flexible, well-invested chilled food production site capable of making sandwiches, baguettes, bagels, salads, pasta pots and a variety of other products for caterers and retailers. We have a high quality site and a fantastic, flexible workforce.”
The Churchill acquisition would complement Hain’s Daily Bread branded sandwich and snack range, which is supplied to several companies, museums, sporting and educational establishments, said Hain Celestial chief executive Irwin D. Simon. “Our combined technical and innovation teams will bring us the capability of developing more exciting and healthy food-to-go products."
Churchill md Tony Pritchard, who will remain with the combined business, said: "This initiative will enable us to provide a more robust, progressive and innovative business.”