Tate & Lyle Sugars has entered into a consultation over the reorganisation of its UK operations, which will result in 30 job cuts.

The US-based firm told just-food today (15 February) that its sugar refinery on the Thames at Silvertown is operating at 60% capacity due to new EU restrictions on sourcing raw materials.

"For about the last year to 18 months, we have only been operating at 60% capacity, which is an ongoing issue due to European Commission laws over fair access to raw materials," the spokesperson said. "As a result of this we only have capacity for around 240 days per year. We have been forced to align our levels of production."

As a result, the spokesperson said it entered into a 90-day consultation with staff last week over the reorganisation of shift patterns.

"We are looking to move from three shifts per day seven days per week, to two shifts per day five days per week. This will require us removing 30 positions," he said.

Tate and Lyle Sugars said the move is "entirely due to the constraints on our raw material supply".

"We are taking steps to address this directly with the Commission but in the meantime must look to align our production workforce to the reduced volume of raw material," said Tate & Lyle Sugars president Ian Bacon. "We remain highly concerned that the European Commission is not taking steps to remove the artificial constraints on our raw material supply and to create a fair market in Europe."