UK private-label major Bakkavor has confirmed that it will be closing a facility in the English east Midlands following consultation with employees and trade unions.

Some 500 people are impacted by the decision.

The company, which supplies fresh food to the country’s largest grocers, said in June that it was considering the future of a salad facility in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

It blamed coronavirus and lost business at the start of the year for its proposal to consolidate work across four factories at the site.

Now the facility closure has been confirmed. In a statement sent to just-food, Bakkavor said: “Our proposals involved making changes to our salads factories which included the closure of Spalding Factory 1 (F1) and the simplification of the night shift pattern in the Deli. Over the past 12 months, both factories have come under increasing pressure due to the impact of a business loss at the beginning of 2020 and more recently the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. 

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By GlobalData

“We’ve been working closely with our colleagues, the SEF representatives and Unite throughout the consultation process and can confirm that no viable solutions were put forward to our on-going challenges. Therefore, the decisions to close F1 during Q4 [October to December] 2020 and the removal of one night shift pattern in the Deli will go ahead.”

Bakkavor said it has already been successful in finding roles for “a number of colleagues” at the Spalding site and at its other sites in Lincolnshire and is “fully committed to finding alternative roles for all who want to remain with us”.

It said it has a “sufficient number of roles available” across its sites in Bourne, Holbeach St Marks, Sutton Bridge and Boston.

However, the trade union Unite told the local Spalding Today news outlet it is disappointed with the decision and claimed its counter proposals have been rejected by the company.