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June 9, 2020

Covid-19 blamed as Bakkavor considers future of UK site

UK private-label major Bakkavor is considering the future of one of its plants in England and is partially blaming Covid-19 for its decision.

By Leonie Barrie

UK private-label major Bakkavor is considering the future of a fresh food facility at Spalding, Lincolnshire, in the English east Midlands.

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Hundreds of jobs could be lost as a result.

Bakkavor, which supplies the UK’s major grocery chains, blamed coronavirus and lost business at the start of the year for its proposal to consolidate work across four factories at the site.

The company said it is “reviewing and reducing functional support roles” and that 500 employees are impacted at the fresh foods facility. The trade union Unite puts the figure at 433.

In a statement, Bakkavor said: “We can confirm that we are entering into several consultations with employees at our Spalding site where we have two salads factories, two meals factories and a distribution centre.

“Over the past 12 months the salads businesses at Spalding (Factory 1 and the Deli) 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.

“As a result, we have had to make some difficult decisions to ensure we can continue to remain sustainable in what remains a particularly difficult trading environment.”

Unite, which represents workers at the site, said the news is a “bitter pill” for the workforce to swallow.

In a statement sent to just-food this morning (9 June), the union said it is meeting management to ask for the business rationale for the “433 job cuts”.

Unite regional officer Mick Orpin said: “This news is a bitter pill for the workers and their families, as well as for the wider Lincolnshire economy. Our members face a period of deep uncertainty and worry as to how they will put food on the table for their families and pay their bills.

“As we start the 45-day consultation process today, we are going to ask to see – and also challenge – the management’s business rationale behind this decision as we are not convinced by its argument.”

just-food has asked Bakkavor for further comment.

Last month, Bakkavor confirmed there had been four confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst its workforce at Spalding. 

Related Companies

Free Whitepaper
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What is the impact of historically high inflation on the UK consumer landscape?

The average UK consumer is experiencing a severe cost-of living crisis as inflation surges to a forty-year high and the price of goods continues to rise. This shock is the result of the sharply increasing costs of commodities, energy, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, and is threatening FMCG manufacturers, retailers, and foodservice operators’ ability to survive and grow. Inflation will have a profound effect on many consumer-facing industries in 2022 and beyond. Consult GlobalData’s new whitepaper, Inflation in the UK: The Impact of Historically High Inflation on the UK Consumer Landscape, to better understand shifts in consumer behavior and their impact on spending patterns, as well as the implications for UK businesses. This whitepaper covers:  
  • Why has global inflation returned with a vengeance?
  • What is the current inflation situation in the UK?
  • What impact is inflation having on UK retail sales?
  • What tactics are businesses relying on to tackle the effects of high inflation?
  • How are consumers changing their behaviors to cope with the higher cost of living?
  • Which industry sectors are most vulnerable to reduced consumer demand?
  • How is the government responding to high inflation?
  • How long will high inflation last in the UK?
  • How can your company survive and thrive in a high inflation environment?
Enter your details here to receive your free whitepaper and ready your business for these increasingly uncertain times.
by GD50 Custom
Enter your details here to receive your free Whitepaper.

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