Turkey supplier Bernard Matthews has put 600 jobs on the line amid a proposal to close a cooked meat production site in east England.

The business, which was acquired by the investment vehicle of the owner of poultry company 2 Sisters Food Group in 2016, said via a spokesperson the plan revolves around “huge challenges facing our sector”.

A review is underway over the future of the Great Witchingham plant in Norfolk, to where Bernard Matthews traces its origins to the 1950s. If the plans go ahead, staff will be offered relocation options to other facilities.

“Bernard Matthews operates in an extremely challenging environment. Regrettably, the company continues to make losses – £10m ($12.7m) losses last year from £25m losses the previous year,” a statement read, adding that the Great Witchingham site “is not a sustainable operation”.

It continued: “Despite investment in recent years and our efforts to secure more business, it is still loss-making and not commercially viable. Therefore, our proposal is to cease operations at this location, putting the site at risk of closure.”

Workers are represented by the Unite union. Regional officer Mark Jaina said in a statement: “The potential closure of the Bernard Matthews’ site in Great Witchingham is devastating news for its workers and the local area. Unite will be offering support to our members at this difficult time.

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“We will now be entering consultations with Bernard Matthews and will ensure our members’ best interests are the priority.”

The statement from Bernard Matthews added: “Our key priority now is to hold consultations with all employees and their representatives and explore the full range of options before making any final decisions.”

Bernard Matthews was bought out of administration in 2016 by Boparan Private Office, the investment vehicle of Ranjit Singh Boparan, who is also the owner of 2 Sisters Food Group.

According to accounts filed with Companies House for the year ended 1 January 2023, Bernard Matthews posted revenue of £284.8m, compared to £270.8m in the corresponding 12-month period.

Operating profit losses narrowed to £9.6m from a £25m loss. Net profit was also in the red at £7.9m versus a £20.9m loss.

Bernard Matthews did not quantify the challenges the business has faced in prompting the review of the Great Witchingham plant.

The company operates a so-called “sister site” in Holton, Suffolk, also in eastern England, where employees will be offered the option to relocate.

Other alternatives include facilities in Flixton and Eye, both in Suffolk, or two plants in Norfolk located at Attleborough and Thetford.