Bakkavör site set to close after major contract loss

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Lincolnshire

Bakkavör site set to close after major contract loss
Bakkavör has announced plans to close its fresh produce factory in Kirton, Leicestershire, putting 116 staff at risk of redundancy.

Bosses said that Exotic Farm Produce (EFP) – which processes peas, beans and exotic vegetables – had been unprofitable for a sustained period of time due to reduced sales and ongoing input inflation.

Staff have now entered into a 90-day consultation period, which ends on May 11, and Bakkavör says it hopes to secure roles “wherever possible”​ at other production sites such as Holbeach St Marks, Spalding and Sutton Bridge.

Vain attempts to secure new business

A Bakkavör spokesman said: “More recently​ [EFP] lost a major customer contract and despite tremendous efforts to secure new business over the past two years the progress made has not been enough to counter this latest development. Unfortunately, as a result, the business is no longer in a position to sustain itself going forward.

“We appreciate that it has been a difficult period for everyone at Exotic Farm Produce over recent years and we would like to stress that this proposal does not reflect the commitment and hard work of the employees at the site.”

More bad news for Bakkavor

The news follows a redundancy round in early 2009, when Bakkavör blamed “worsening economic conditions”​ that meant it transferred some prepared produce operations away from the site.

Bakkavör shed 179 jobs in mid-January at its Prepared Produce site in Bourne, Lincolnshire, with 35 compulsory redundancies, while 144 staff opted to leave voluntarily.

Established in 1985, EFP has a turnover of around £20m and a 4,688m2 production site; it was bought by the Bakkavor Group in August 2007.

Related topics: Fresh produce

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