Produce World cuts 33 Scottish jobs to defend profits

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Produce World supplies a range of vegetables, including Chinese tatsoi
Produce World supplies a range of vegetables, including Chinese tatsoi

Related tags: Vegetable, Time

Produce World has announced 33 redundancies amid plans to shift organic root vegetable packing from Forres in Scotland to Yaxley, near Peterborough – closer to the bulk of its organic produce activities.

The fresh veg supplier said the move was needed to enable it to weather tough market conditions and remain profitable.

The firm took on the affected site when it acquired organics player TIO, which was based at Forres, Morayshire, and supplied retail and foodservice customers, in July.

‘Working with colleagues’

“The Produce World Group has now been working with colleagues at the former TIO site for some months and has been able to review the best way of working going forward,”​ said Produce World in a statement about the strategy.

“Some 80% of Produce World’s organic roots business is in the south and it makes sense to pack product at our factory in Yaxley near Peterborough. Following consultation with colleagues we have announced 33 redundancies and one member of staff will be transferring to one of our sites in Cambridgeshire.

“At the present time we continue to wash and pack at Forres, but we envisage all packing moving to Peterborough in due course. The site at Forres will remain open for the foreseeable future and we will continue to source from local Scottish growers.”

Consultation

The company said it would continue to help and support all its colleagues throughout the subsequent consultation process.

It also stressed that as a result of outplacement provision and ongoing support for colleagues, a number of employment opportunities had already been secured outside of the Produce World Group.

Minister for the Scottish parliament Richard Lochhead is reportedly discussing the consequences of the job losses with local enterprise agency HIE Moray.

Produce World is a privately-owned business founded by the Burgess family in 1898, which supplies vegetables ranging from broccoli and potatoes to Chinese tatsoi.

In addition to acquiring TIO, it announced the purchase of the root vegetable division of Lincolnshire-based Fenmarc Produce last month.

Related topics: Fresh produce

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