More than 200 jobs at risk at fruit packaging factory

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Food factory closure by Hain Daniels has put 200 jobs at risk
Food factory closure by Hain Daniels has put 200 jobs at risk

Related tags Covent garden Risk

More than 200 jobs could be at risk following the news that a fruit packaging factory in Luton will close by the end of the year.

Owner Hain Daniels – the UK arm of food group Hain Celestial – employs 220 workers at its Luton site on the Britannia Estates in Leagrave Road.

A statement from the company said the decision to close was part of a review of the fruit manufacturing facilities it owned.

“Regrettably, Hain Daniels has announced its proposal to close the facility in Luton at the end of 2016, which coincides with the end of the lease on the facility,”​ a spokesman said.

“During the collective 45-day consultation period, the company will be discussing potential alternative opportunities for colleagues, within the group.”

Employs more than 2,500 people

Hains employs more than 2,500 people nationally across nine sites, including factories in Fakenham, Norfolk and Cambridge.

It produces the Linda McCartney range of foods and New Covent Garden soups, as well as Hartley’s and Robertson’s jam and Gales Honey.

Hain Celestial acquired fruit, juice and dessert manufacturer Orchard House Foods for an undisclosed amount in December last year.

The acquisition of Orchard House Foods prompted the review of Hain’s fruit manufacturing facilities.

Meanwhile, a number of food and drinks firms have had to cut jobs in the past year.

Future of 2,000 jobs

The future of 2,000 jobs​ at turkey producer Bernard Matthews was put at risk after the business was offered for sale this month, causing Unite the union seek assurances for its members.

It was “a worrying time​” for employees, said the union, following the decision of owners Rutland Partners to appoint PriceWaterhouseCoopers to seek a potential buyer.

Icelandic Seachill, the fish supplier, also warned of job losses last month​, after losing a large contract with Marks & Spencer.

Simon Smith, ceo at Icelandic Seachill, said: “This decision will have a huge impact on our business and the unfortunate reality is that a large number of roles may be at risk.”

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