The business, which employed up to 900 workers, confirmed a small team would remain on site to manage the closure of the factory.
“The company would like to extend a sincere thank you to all our Burton colleagues for their continued hard work and commitment and we wish them the best for the future,” a Kerry Foods spokesperson said.
Major contract lost
Last October it emerged the Richmond sausages, Wall’s and Mattessons brand owner, which supplies refrigerated own-label products to a range of retailers, had lost a major chilled ethnic meals contract with Tesco.
The termination of the contract, which represented most of Kerry Foods’ business, was blasted as “brutal” by Unite and “a calamity for Burton”.
Rick Coyle, the trade union’s regional officer, said the contract had run for 19 years with no complaint about the service quality or delivery and added that more than £20m had been invested in the Burton-on-Trent plant in recent years, making it one of the most modern food production sites in the UK.
Supply chain changes
At the time, a Tesco spokesperson confirmed it had taken the decision to make changes to the supply chain for its Indian and Oriental ready meals following an extensive six-month review and would support Kerry Foods during the transition process.
Unite confirmed 121 of its members (out of 800 shop floor workers) had found jobs as a result of four on-site job fairs attended by 50 employers.
In June, internationally renowned brewer Molson Coors, which also operates a facility at Burton-Upon-Trent, said it would reach out to Kerry Foods’ HR team to raise awareness of vacancies at its local site.
Meanwhile, employees at Allied Bakeries’ Cardiff factory have been made redundant, as the Kingsmill maker confirmed it would be ceasing bakery operations at the site.