The Hain Daniels Group, owner of the New Covent Garden Soup Company, has announced that they are going to close their soup manufacturing site in Peterborough.
This will result in the loss of 80 jobs at the site.
Consultations found nothing
Despite a period of consultations on the site, both of an individual and collective nature, Hain Daniels said that there was no way to find a sustainable route and make the site viable in the long term. They are now committed to slowly phasing out their production at the site and transferring it to their factory in Grimsby.
A spokesperson for the company said, “We have already, and will continue to discuss all options available to our colleagues, including relocation or alternative opportunities within other sites in the group. Following the consultation periods with our colleagues at the site, we are sad to say that 30 are leaving us on Friday 1st June. Phase two will continue until the end of the year, which will impact a further 50 colleagues.”
That brings a total of 80 food jobs into risk. While the company has committed to trying to relocate employees to other sites, there is little hope that the full number will be able to remain within the business. Instead, most will probably need to look for work elsewhere.
The company has said that they will be trying to support their staff through other methods as they leave their employment. These will include CV workshops to help them create good applications, the development of interview skills, and help with searching for jobs in the local area.
The closure comes after Hain Daniels also conducted a review of their chilled desserts facility in Norfolk, which has put further jobs at risk. It is not yet clear whether they have taken a decision to change things there as well, or whether the axing of the Peterborough site will be enough to steady the boat for now.
If the employees who are losing out do end up taking positions at other branches, they could end up looking at international food jobs, as Hain Daniels have plenty of opportunities across the world. They have nine manufacturing sites in the UK alone, with brands including names such as Hartley’s, Robertsons, and Sun Pat. As of last September, the company employed 3,300 people in the UK – though that overall number has surely now decreased.
Hain Daniels is the UK arm of New York’s Hain Celestial, which has a large number of other brands and sites under its umbrella. They have 36 factories and other manufacturing sites around the world, and they use these to generate global sales amounting to £2 billion – or $2.7 billion. They have a total worldwide of around 6,500 employees.
It’s not clear whether they are in trouble, or simply restructuring to prevent a troubled state in the future. The employees at their other nine sites will hope that this was just a case of no longer flogging a dead horse, and not a sign of a deeper infection.
There are a number of factory closures happening around the UK at the present moment. After months of consultation, the Tulip factory in Cornwall – which we reported on earlier – has finally been confirmed for closure. Although they spoke to staff about the future of the factory and their employment, there was no way to come to a conclusion that suited the business. The meat processing plant will now close – with trade union Unite calling it a ‘body blow’ to a community which is already struggling to survive.