Avana Bakeries plans to close doors and cut 150 jobs

By Matt Atherton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Avana Bakeries plans to close, cutting around 150 jobs (Flickr/Live4Soccer(L4S))
Avana Bakeries plans to close, cutting around 150 jobs (Flickr/Live4Soccer(L4S))

Related tags: Employment, Baker, Baking

Avana Bakeries plans to close at the end of January, with the potential loss of about 150 jobs, the bakery has revealed.

Food Utopia – owner of the Newport-based bakery – said consultations with staff had started, after the bakery was “unable to make sufficient progress”​ in an increasingly competitive market. Avana Bakeries was “loss-making” ​and “financially unsustainable”​, the manufacturer said, putting 150 jobs at risk.

A Food Utopia spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We regret to announce that we are now consulting with our colleagues about a proposal to cease production at Avana Bakeries in Newport at the end of January 2017, and as a result the site could close.

‘Cease production’

“We will continue to explore all options available and seek as much external support as possible as we begin discussions about the future of the operation.”

The manufacturer, which acquired Avana Bakeries from 2 Sisters Food Group in 2014, said it recognised the impact the site closure would have. The proposal’s timing had an even greater impact, said the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) president Ian Hodson.

Hodson said on Twitter​: “Shocking news coming from Avana. No time is a good time, but to devastate people at ​[Christmas is] appalling.”

‘Shocking news’

The Welsh government said it would work with Food Utopia and its partners to support staff. The announcement was a big concern to staff employed at the bakery, it added.

A Welsh government spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “The announcement that Avana Bakeries is consulting on redundancies gives significant cause for concern for staff employed at the site and comes at a particularly difficult time of year.

“We will work with the employer and partners to ensure that the affected employees are offered every possible support and assistance.”

Meanwhile, Avana Bakeries – which made celebration cakes and puddings – proposed 390 job losses​ in August 2014, one month after it was taken over by Food Utopia.

What they say about Avana Bakeries proposed closure

  • Food Utopia, owner of Avana Bakeries, said: “We will continue to explore all options available and seek as much external support as possible, as we begin discussions about the future of the operation.”
  • Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union president Ian Hodson said: “Shocking news coming from Avana. No time is a good time, but to devastate people at [Christmas is] appalling.”
  • A Welsh government spokeswoman said: “We will work with the employer and partners to ensure that the affected employees are offered every possible support and assistance.”

Related topics: Bakery, People & Skills

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