Bakkavor Group has begun employee consultations over the proposed closure of its Grimsby-based Mariner Foods business.

Mariner currently employs 530 staff and, while a spokesperson for Bakkavor told just-food that it is too early to say how many layoffs to expect, all the jobs are under threat.

Bakkavor said that, if the closure goes ahead, the management team would make every attempt to find alternative roles for staff at other sites within the Group.

"We are operating in a challenging trading environment and the Group remains cautious about the short-term outlook for consumer confidence. As we announced earlier this year, inflationary costs coupled with uncertain consumer demand has resulted in Bakkavor having to consider making changes to align its cost base," Bakkavor said in a statement.

The rising costs and falling consumer spending Mariner Foods is experiencing "continued unsustainable losses", Bakkavor said. The proposed closure is part of Bakkavor's restructuring plans to improve operational efficiencies, the spokesperson added.

Mariner Foods produces ready meals for Morrisions and Waitrose. If the closure goes ahead, production will be transferred to other production sites within the company.