Welcome Foods was no longer economically viable, the ready meals specialist claimed yesterday (March 2). Bakkavor has entered into a 45-day consultation period with staff and their representatives, it said.
A Bakkavor spokesman said: “Bakkavor Group can confirm it is entering into a period of consultation with employees at Welcome Foods in Huthwaite, Nottinghamshire with regard to ceasing all operations at the site.
‘Ceasing all operations’
“The consultation process will last at least 45 days during which time the business will be working closely with the representatives and Unite, the recognised union for the site. This will include considering all representations made on behalf of the company’s employees.”
Bakkavor said the plant had been impacted by difficult trading conditions. While it searched for an alternative to job cuts, it concluded that Welcome Foods was no longer a money-making business.
It was too early to say if all of the 300 staff affected would be offered alternative roles within the company, a Bakkavor spokesman said.
“Our proposal is to cease operations at Welcome Foods and transfer production to other Bakkavor sites which have similar product synergies,” the spokesman said. “If our proposal goes ahead, we will make significant efforts to assist staff in finding alternative employment in the local area and relocate staff wherever possible within Bakkavor Group.
“We would like to thank all of our employees for their commitment and professionalism during this difficult time. We will work closely with the representatives to keep employees appropriately updated throughout the consultation period.”
Meanwhile, both the Unite and GMB unions asked for urgent clarification on the job cuts. See the box below for more.
What the unions said
- “We appreciate that this is a very tough time for the workers and the wider Nottinghamshire economy. Unite will be fighting 100 per cent to lessen the impact of this announcement.”
Steve Syson, Unite
- “Whilst GMB members are not affected directly, this announcement adds fuel to our concern at the state of the UK food and drink industry.”
Eamon O’Hearn, GMB