Bosses made the decision to axe the roles after experiencing poor sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 37 redundancies, 21 were voluntary and 16 were compulsory.
A Valeo Confectionery spokesman said it had no official statement beyond what had been reported in local media, which was that it decided to reduce headcount poor sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 37 redundancies, 21 were voluntary and 16 were compulsory.
“We’ve therefore had to take the very difficult decision to confirm our proposals which result in a number of our colleagues being made redundant,” the spokesman told the Wakefield Express.
Consultation to reduce redundancies
“During the consultation process we have reduced the number of redundancies required. We are incredibly thankful to our colleagues for all their hard work throughout a very challenging period.”
Ireland-based Valeo Foods acquired the Pontefract site on Ferrybridge Road from Tangerine Confectionery in 2018 for more than £100m. The factory employs 162 members of staff, plus agency seasonal workers. The deal led to Valeo Foods investing £7.5m in Tangerine Confectionery’s York factory, creating 90 jobs. Tangerine Confectionery changed its name to Valeo Confectionery in December 2019.
Valeo Confectionery operates sites in the UK at Pontefract, York, Liverpool, Cleckheaton and Blackpool.
News of the latest job cuts at the Pontefract plant comes after Valeo Foods announced it had acquired German confectionery business Schluckwerder Holding in a deal expected to boost its sales to €1.2bn (£1.07bn).
Following the purchase of Schluckwerder, revenues at Valeo Foods’s European business unit would increase to an estimated €283m (£252.9m), the company claimed. Its UK business unit has revenues of more than €583m (£521m) with a further €319m (£285m) generated in Ireland.
The month prior, Valeo Foods completed its acquisition of tortilla chip manufacturer It’s All Good, joining its staple of snack brands – including Kettle Foods, Tangerine Confectionery and Big Bear Confectionery.
Sky News has also reported that private equity owner CapVest is now in talks to sell Valeo Foods and has appointed Goldman Sachs to oversee the disposal in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Heineken is to slash jobs across its UK operations, as part of a larger worldwide job cuts in the wake of COVID-19 disruption. Up to 100 jobs are on the line, representing 4% of the UK workforce.