Some 900 jobs are likely to go at a Kerry Foods facility at Burton-upon-Trent in the English Midlands as the site is due to close.

The Irish company, which makes Richmond sausages and Mattesons meat snacks, has said the factory will be shuttered later this year.

The facility produces chilled ready meals on a private-label contract basis.

In a statement sent to just-food, Kerry Foods said: “We propose to cease operations at our production facility in Burton, from the start of September notwithstanding continuing efforts to find alternative solutions for the site. The company would like to extend a sincere thank you to all our Burton colleagues for their hard work and commitment and our priority now is to support all employees affected during this time.”

The union Unite, which described the move as a “calamity” for the Staffordshire town, is set to meet with Kerry’s management for talks on Friday (28 June).

It said it understood the closure is a result of the company losing a contract to supply ready-made meals to Tesco which amounted to 90% of the facility’s output.

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By GlobalData

Kerry Foods has another 17 facilities in the UK and Ireland.

Unite’s regional officer Rick Coyle said: “This is a calamity for Burton as Kerry Foods is the town’s biggest employer. It is heart breaking for the workforce, their families and, more widely, a crushing blow for the regional economy.

“The closure is a result of Kerry Foods losing the contract to supply supermarket giant Tesco’s with ready-made meals, which was 90% of its business. Kerry Foods tried to find alternative markets and customers, but to no avail.”