The site, acquired as part of Kepak’s purchase of 2 Sisters’ red meat division in July 2018, has been earmarked for closure by the business in an effort to maintain efficiencies and sustainability.
A Kepak spokesman told Food Manufacture: “As part of its strategy to maintain and grow an efficient and sustainable business, Kepak has entered a consultation period with elected representatives for all employees at its UK retail packing facility in St Merryn, Victoria, Cornwall.”
Kepak also operates St Merryn red meat processing sites in Bodmin and Merthyr.
“Statutory consultations are taking place from Monday, 25 March 2019, during which Kepak will examine the strategic competitiveness and long-term sustainability of this operation and explore all options, including redeployment of staff, to mitigate as many job losses as possible,” added the spokesman. “The St Merryn, Victoria facility has been part of Kepak since July 2018, following the Group’s acquisition of the UK business and assets of 2 Sisters Red Meat Limited.”
Workers’ union USDAW said it was in talks with the processor. Usdaw area organiser David Clift said: “This is devastating news for all of those who could be affected by Kepak’s proposals. Usdaw is meeting with the company in the coming weeks to understand and challenge the business case for the proposed site closure.
“Our priority is to save jobs and we will also explore redeployment opportunities, for those at risk of redundancy, possibly at the Bodmin or Merthyr sites.”
In January, Cornwall-based deserts manufacturer Kensey Foods closed with the loss of more than 600 jobs.