UK food group Samworth Brothers is closing the Cornwall facility of its Kensey Foods business with 650 jobs likely to be affected by the decision.

Kensey, a chilled desserts business, has started a formal consultation with staff on closing its site in Launceston.

The company, established in 1997, said it has been “loss making for the last six years” despite financial investment. It also pointed to the age and condition of the plant as a reason for closure.

In a statement it said: “It is with regret that we are beginning a formal consultation with our staff regarding the potential closure of Kensey Foods in Launceston.   

“Despite significant financial investment and the commitment and hard work of everyone, Kensey Foods has now been loss making for the last six years. When combined, the investments and annual losses have added up to tens of millions of pounds, and this is not sustainable for any business. 

“In addition, the age and capability of the plant and assets have reached a stage at which significant additional capital investment is required, which is not commercially viable. It is proposed this closure would take place by the end of July.”

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“We understand this announcement will be difficult for our colleagues at Kensey. We will be doing everything we can to support them through this consultation process.  In the event of a closure it is hoped there will be opportunities for a good number of individuals to redeploy to our Callington bakery (The Cornwall Bakery) and there are also vacancies across our group in other locations.  We would also work with the local job centre, employment agencies and local companies to help people find suitable new roles.” 

Samworth Brothers is a major private-label supplier in the UK and also owns the Ginsters and SCI-MX brands.