Potato supplier to axe 190 jobs at Shropshire plant

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Greenvale plans to cut 190 jobs with the closure of its Tern Hill potato packing plant
Greenvale plans to cut 190 jobs with the closure of its Tern Hill potato packing plant
Greenvale – one of the UK’s biggest potato suppliers – plans to cut 190 jobs and close its potato packing plant near Market Drayton, Shropshire.

The firm has launched a 45-day consultation period with employees at its Ternhill site, after a recent review of its potato packing operation concluded its three packing site structure “was no longer sustainable”.

Greenvale plans to transfer all packing and associated operations to two sites, in order to deliver “a more efficient business model”. ​After modifying the group’s sites in Scotland and Cambridgeshire, packing operations will be transferred to these sites from Tern Hill.

The firm said in a statement: “Regrettably, this would mean the closure of the Tern Hill site which has 190 staff. The company would anticipate creating approximately 50 posts at its other sites and would actively support the transfer of Tern Hill employees to these locations.”

‘Regret any potential redundancies’

Chief executive Angus Armstrong added: "We regret any potential redundancies and will do all we can to look after the people affected.”

The west of the country will continue to be an important supply area for Greenvale and no growers will be affected by the closure of the site, said the firm. Also, Greenvale’s Swancote Foods specialist food ingredients division and processing plant will continue to operate as normal.

Greenvale said the age of the Tern Hill site meant that it required significantly higher investment than its other two sites.

‘Final decision’

The firm pledged to start communications with employee representatives and individual employees on a one-to-one basis. “This consultation period will end on May 12 when a final decision on the company’s proposal will be communicated to all Greenvale employees,”​ said the firm.

If the closure of the Tern Hill site is confirmed, production at the plant will wind down until it closes in August 2014.

Meanwhile, Oliver Cartwright, a West Midlands spokesman for the National Farmers Union, said the decision would impact the local economy. “Although Greenvale has other sites and is looking to strengthen and consolidate its business, the loss of a major player in the potato market from Shropshire is significant for the county and for local employment,” ​said Cartwright. 

“We have sympathy with those who may lose their jobs and we now await further details as to how the closure will impact on Shropshire and West Midlands growers.”​ 

The potato supplier openned operations at Tern Hill in 1978.

Greenvale supplies GreenVale branded potatoes and cooked potato ingredients, via its Swancote Foods business, to prepared food manufacturers.

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