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May 11, 2006

UK: Heinz says boycott will not force its hand

Heinz, who is currently facing a consumer boycott of HP Sauces over proposals to move production of the iconic brand to the Netherlands, has told just-food that the boycott “won’t serve any purpose”.

Heinz, which is currently facing the threat of a consumer boycott of HP Sauces over proposals to move production of the iconic brand to the Netherlands, has told just-food that the boycott “won’t serve any purpose”.

The US company, which recently completed the acquisition of HP, has come under attack over a proposal to rationalise its European sauces production that would result in the closure of its HP factory in Aston Cross, near Birmingham.

According to a report in The Times, the public outcry has drawn mainstream political support. The MP for Birmingham Ladywood, Clare Short, was quoted as saying: “This is another closure with good-quality jobs moving abroad, and all we are left with are shops and bars… It’s on millions of British tables and we’ve got to resist this if we can.”

However, the multinational appears undaunted.

“I don’t think the boycott is going to help HP or the site,” Heinz director of UK corporate and government affairs Nigel Dickie told just-food. “The product remains as popular as ever, we haven’t seen any impact on sales.”

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