Northern Foods today (22 April) revealed that it is preparing to close the Swansea manufacturing facility of its Sainsbury’s supplier Ethnic Cuisine, putting 234 jobs at risk.

The company said that it had reached the decision to close the facility after it had been unable to reach an agreement with the oriental ready meal maker’s main client, Sainsbury’s.

“The Ethnic Cuisine site is not viable as it stands today and we were unable to reach a mutually agreeable joint business plan with Sainsbury’s,” a spokesperson for the company revealed.

According to the spokesperson, Northern would have considered investing in the production site if an agreement that would guarantee a return could have been reached.

Northern acquired Ethnic Cuisine in 2007, when the company described the unit as a “profitable business” with a “strong reputation for producing high-quality ready meals”.

However, today, the spokesperson suggested that the site was “struggling” at the time of its acquisition and required “significant” levels investment.

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The site currently employs 234 people and Northern said that it will begin the 90-day worker consultation period “shortly”.