Bakkavor have announced that they are to close their Freshcook site in Lincolnshire. This leaves 160 jobs at risk, with the other 520 members of staff being offered roles at other Bakkavor sites.
Moving employees elsewhere
The Bakkavor management team have announced that they are confident they will be able to move the majority of their employees to other sites with minimal disruption. Out of the overall workforce of 680 people at the Lincolnshire facility, they are hopeful that 520 members of staff will be able to find alternative roles at their other sites in the county. This will minimise the number of redundancies required.
The business as a whole has managed to double their latest pre-tax profit report from the year before, but it is clear that they have achieved this by being smart about which parts of the business are worth the investment and which are not. They have now entered into a 45-day consultation period with the employees at the site, which will help them to determine who is staying and where they will be going, as well as who will be left redundant. Those who are seeking alternative positions can browse our jobs listings to find something that fits their skills and experience.
“The management team has explored a number of different options to improve the performance of the site but has concluded that Freshcook is no longer commercially viable,” said a spokesperson for the company. “If this proposal goes ahead, we are confident that we can offer the weekly paid employees alternative operational roles across our other Lincolnshire sites and we will make every effort to relocate other employees impacted wherever possible within Bakkavor Group.”
Bakkavor announced at the end of February that their results for the 52 weeks ending 29 December 2018 were up on the previous year. They had risen from £39 million to a new total of £77.9 million in pre-tax profits. The like-for-like revenue figures were up by 3.28%, from £1.78 billion to £1.84 billion.
This included a 1.8% growth in the UK alone. The Chief Executive of Bakkavor Group, Agust Gudmundsson, talking of their “robust performance” but was cautious about further short-term growth, citing tighter profit margins.
“However, in the second half, we anticipate an uplift in UK revenues as we benefit from recently secured new business,” he added. “Given this additional volume, together with the actions we are taking to protect profitability, we expect a significant improvement in our trading in the second half of the year and our full-year group performance be broadly in line with 2018.”
The company also stated that their recent acquisition of Haydens Bakery was already starting to deliver some benefits. They have recently made a number of moves, including expanding their UK desserts site. Available jobs created by the expansion can be viewed through our food jobs. The spokesperson said that this process was progressing smoothly, as expected.
Bakkavor mostly operates within the fresh prepared foods sector, with sites across the UK, US, and China. They have 25 factory sites and three distribution centres currently running in the UK. Across the whole of the group, they employ more than 19,000 people. They are a huge force in the food industry, and have been in headlines often over the last year or two with lots of decisive actions. For every new acquisition or expansion, there is another site closure or staff cuts – they clearly expect each of their sites to perform very well in order to justify their position within the group. No slack can be tolerated.