The proposed changes would see Maoam production ceasing in the UK, with global production of the confection centralized. There are no plans to close the affected sites at Castleford and Pontefract, according to the proposals.
Consultations with the manufacturer’s staff that work across the two sites has just begun. Haribo could not comment on the number of potential redundancies at this time.
Food and drink workers union GMB said it would be entering into formal consultation with the company in the coming weeks and has been in talks with local MP Yvette Cooper in a bid to call on the Government to intervene. The planned consultation could impact the jobs of 207 employees, according to GMB.
Lynn Brook, GMB Organiser said: “We're now awaiting further detail from the company on more than two hundred potential redundancies at Haribo's UK operation at the Pontefract and Castleford sites. It’s a bitter blow for these workers.
“Such a reduction would see a loss of almost a third of the workforce and would do immense untold damage to this area. Haribo are a major local employer and have been operating at the Pontefract site for half a century. The workers here have been working through the pandemic and this news comes as a hammer blow.”
UK managing director Jon Hughes said: “We can confirm that we have started discussions with our colleagues about proposals to protect the long-term future of Haribo manufacturing in Yorkshire.
“The UK has become a manufacturing centre of excellence in the global Haribo network. But to protect this position, we must respond to significant rising costs and the demands of a highly competitive market.”
Hughes said the proposals were driven by a need to secure a sustainable future for production in Yorkshire while enabling the business to continue investment in its people and brands.
Haribo’s future in the UK
“Our priority now is our colleagues,” he added. “We will provide all the support necessary as we consult with them about the best way to protect the future of Haribo manufacturing in the UK.”
News of potential redundancies at Haribo UK comes just over a year after it announced it was to create 50 new jobs at the Castleford plant. The factory had grown production after securing a lucrative contact to export confectionery to the US.
In 2013, the company had announced a significant investment in the Castleford site to bolster its UK manufacturing capabilities, meet UK demand and increase its research and development and export potential, said Hughes.
Meanwhile, last week, meat processor Tyson Foods revealed it was to axe 71 jobs at its plant in Wrexham, north Wales after announcing plans to close the site by the end of September.
Addendum: On Monday 7 September, Food Manufacture published a version of this story claiming 700 jobs would be at risk at the two Haribo factories in Yorkshire. This was not correct and we are sorry for any confusion caused.