Premier Foods to close Hovis bakery – 82 jobs at risk

By Freddie Dawson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bread, Hovis

A union official likened the potential bakery closure to a disgarded fish and chip wrapper. "It’s used up and thrown out...never to be thought about again,” he said
A union official likened the potential bakery closure to a disgarded fish and chip wrapper. "It’s used up and thrown out...never to be thought about again,” he said
Premier Foods plans to shut its Hovis bread bakery in Eastleigh, Hampshire with the loss of 82 jobs.

The facility – which makes Hovis sliced wrapped white, Best of Both and wholemeal breads – could halt production within four months.

But a distribution centre on the same site, employing a further 90 people, would remain open, said the firm.

Supply chain

The decision to shut the facility was taken as part of a review of the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of Premier’s supply chain, a spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

Eastleigh was chosen for closure because it was: “Premier’s smallest bakery with one line of production. And it lacks the flexibility to meet the company’s future requirements,” ​he added.

Premier is consulting with employees but declined to discuss timescales or the possible relocation of employees.

Frank Loveday, regional secretary for the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union reacted angrily to the news.

Used up and thrown out

“Obviously it’s a disappointment,”​ he told FoodManufacture.co.uk. “Whenever something is closing it is just another case of, ‘oh, that’s bad news.’ And in four months any mention of it is gone. It’s used up and thrown out like a fish and chips wrapper, never to be thought about again.”

Loveday added that the union is planning to hold discussions with Premier on Thursday February 16. “The site is closing – that much is pretty well confirmed. As to what is to be left, you’ll have to wait and see what happens in the negotiations,”​ he said.

Eastleigh Borough Council cabinet member for business and skills, councillor Peter Wall said: "The council would be very disappointed to see the closure of the bakery, which is a well-established company in the borough.

“Should it close, the council will work closely with Premier Foods, Job Centre Plus and local colleges to support the employees with help and advice as they look for alternative employment.”

Related topics: Bakery, Cereals and bakery preparations

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