2 Sisters consultation into biscuit factory future

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

2 Sisters has launched a consultation into the future of Elkes Biscuits Uttoxeter
2 Sisters has launched a consultation into the future of Elkes Biscuits Uttoxeter

Related tags Bakery 2 sisters food group

2 Sisters Food Group is to launch a consultation into the future of the Elkes Biscuits factory in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, putting 550 jobs at risk.

A consultation into a potential sale of the Cheadle Road site, formerly known as Fox’s Biscuits, opens tomorrow and runs until March 2022.

A spokesman for Elkes Biscuits said it had been reviewing all options for the business in Uttoxeter, including turnaround opportunities and potential sale, since the sale of Fox’s Biscuits in 2020.

‘Significantly loss making’

“The Uttoxeter site is significantly loss making and we have been unable to reverse this situation in the face of strong competitive pressure and cost inflation, nor have we been able to secure a viable offer for the business,”​ said the spokesman. “We now believe the site is no longer commercially viable.

“Regrettably, we are now consulting with colleagues on our proposals, which includes the potential closure of the site. However, we are committed to exploring the full range of options available to us before any final decisions are made.”

Workers union Unite has begun campaigning on behalf of the site in an attempt to secure a buyer and protect the jobs of the employees working there.

Unite regional officer Rick Coyle said closing the factory – one of Uttoxeter’s biggest employers – would be a catastrophe for the employees, their families and the wider regional economy.

‘Attractive proposition’

“However, we know that Elkes Biscuits has a wide range of biscuits that are very popular with consumers and this is underpinned by a dedicated and hardworking workforce,” said Coyle. “All these factors make it an attractive proposition to another company wishing to buy the site.

“Unite wishes to work constructively with the management of the 2 Sisters Food Group during the consultation period until March to find a buyer. We would like to examine in detail the business case that is being put forward for the sale.”

2 Sisters has made a number of disposals in recent years as it focused in on its core offering and restructuring the business. In 2019, Valeo Food Group acquired its Christmas pudding division Matthew Walker in a deal worth £67m.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, Dawnfresh Seafoods announced plans to close its Uddingston production facility near Glasgow​ as part of a £5m investment into the expansion of its site in Arbroath.

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