The consumer products giant, which owns the Magnum, Lipton and Knorr brands, has launched a staff consultation with about 140 workers over the possible relocation of their roles to Rotterdam, according to Sky News yesterday (October 10).
Unilever’s planned move was said to be part of a bid to set up a new global headquarters for its leading food and drink brands including PG Tips and Magnum ice cream.
No one from the company was available to speak to FoodManufacture.co.uk about the report.
Unilever employs more than 7,000 people in the UK and, in addition to food and drink, produces a range of fast-moving consumer goods including the washing powders Persil and Surf and the personal hygiene product Sure.
The headquarters of the firm’s home and personal care business was intended to remain in this country.
The proposed move was unrelated to Brexit but reflected chief executive Paul Polman’s plans to improve the business’s efficiency, reported the broadcaster. Earlier this year Unilever beat off a bid from Kraft Heinz, which had raised fears about the security of jobs at the manufacturer.
Bid from Kraft Heinz
Read the Sky News report here.
Earlier this month, Britvic’s plans to close it Norwich factory and cut more than 200 jobs have raised union concerns about the future of Unilever’s Colman’s Mustard, which was also produced on the site.
In April, Unilever revealed plans to sell its spreads business, prompting Unite the union to request assurances about the future of jobs in the division.
Meanwhile, Hilton Food Group and Nestlé have both attracted criticism over the past six months, after revealing plans to invest in food production facilities in Poland rather than the UK.
In August, the diversified meat processor revealed plans to build a £5.5M (€6M) production plant in Poland, following a deal to supply Tesco with sandwiches, soups and ready meals.
In April, Nestlé announced its intention to cut nearly 300 jobs and relocate production of its iconic Blue Riband brand to Poland.