The GMB union has called on Nestle to diversify its product range in order to secure jobs at its Girvan plant in Scotland.

Last month Nestle announced restructuring plans for the chocolate crumb plant, with around 20 jobs, or a third of the workforce, likely to be lost.

In a report published today (22 May), the union representing Nestle workers at the site insisted that are viable alternatives to downsizing at the plant.

The GMB wrote: "Nestle is a major corporation with a wide portfolio of products in the beverage as well as the confectionery market. For example: why couldn't Girvan benefit from new inward investment by Nestle to meet new markets and new demand in related product fields?"

The union said it is "essential" that dairy-related manufacturing options, which "take advantage of location, skills set and technology transfer are actively pursued".

The report also pointed out the facility, in the past, supplied "a more diverse" market selling to countries such as Canada.

The GMB suggested Nestle explore alternative options such as "trading up into the luxury chocolate product market" or an expansion into white chocolate.

"Nestle's Girvan factory is no lame duck," said GMB Scotland organiser Richard Leonard. "The company posted operating profits of US$14.1bn last year, so GMB simply do not accept the case for making a third of the workforce redundant. That's why GMB continue to challenge Nestle's plans and are calling on them to set up a Nestle Girvan Alternative Production Centre to progress diversification ideas and so provide security of employment."

A spokesperson for Nestlé told just-food: “We continue to have regular dialogue with our employees and their union representatives on the Nestle proposal.”