Good week, bad week (Wk 9)

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sisters food group Tesco George osborne Food standards agency

Grim news for food manufacturing jobs leads our selection of the top headlines of the past seven days in the latest edition of Good week, bad week.

Bakkavor unveiled plans to axe 445 jobs​ at its Yorkshire Fresh Fruit plant after losing a key contract with Asda.

2 Sisters Food Group said up to 300 jobs​, out of a total workforce of 800, were at risk at its chicken plant on Anglesey.

Produce World Group revealed plans to close two factories near Butterwick and Swinderby in Lincolnshire, with the loss of 340 jobs.

Campylobacter contamination

There was more bad news for Asda, as the Food Standards Agency (FSA) published its latest survey of results on levels of campylobacter contamination in fresh supermarket chickens. Asda topped the list​, with 78.1% of its samples testing positive for some level of campylobacter.

Morrisons and the Co-op were second and third respectively on that list.

But there was also some good news for Morrisons, as the retailer revealed it had appointed former Tesco executive  David Potts as its new ceo. Potts too had reasons to smile, with the news the job carries a salary of £850,000 a year plus incentives.

Joining Morrisons on the good news list this week were:  brewery jobs and food innovation.

500 brewery jobs

Up to 500 brewery jobs​ had been created by chancellor George Osborne’s decision to cut beer duty in 2013 and 2014, it emerged. The policy was also said to have created thousands of other jobs in related sectors, such as hospitality.

Bad week

  • Job cuts at Bakkavor, 2 Sisters and Produce World
  • Asda tops FSA campylobacter list

Food innovation took centre stage with the identification of 50 Food stars​ by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Environment secretary Liz Truss told in an exclusive video interview the fab 50 celebrated the achievement of the best new food and drink entrepreneurs.

“It​ [the event] was the first of its kind, bringing together companies into DEFRA and celebrating the industry. What I want it to be about is the industry working together to promote British food and farming,” ​said Truss. 

Good news

  • Brewery jobs: 500 created by cutting beer duty
  • Food innovation: DEFRA’s 50 Food stars
  • New food innovation conference from Food Manufacture & sister titles

Innovation was also in the spotlight with the launch of a new one-day conference – New Frontiers in Food and Drink​ – to take place on Friday June 26 at St Pauls in central London. The event is being organised by's publisher William Reed Business Media in association with our sister titles British Baker​, Meat Trades Journal​ and The Grocer​.

The keynote speaker will be futurologist Morgaine Gaye. Also taking part in the event at Etc.venues St Pauls, 200 Aldergate will be Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology, University of Oxford and professor Arnold van Huis form the Laboratory of Entomology at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. 

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