Jobs go at food companies

THE last 75 jobs left at meat processing firm Tulip in Thetford are set to be axed and the plant shut down, bosses of the firm have confirmed, with cut-backs also announced at the Bernard Matthews and Linda McCartney companies.

THE last 75 jobs left at meat processing firm Tulip in Thetford are set to be axed and the plant shut down, bosses of the firm have confirmed.

Tulip plans to halt all production at the plant in Caxton Way which currently supplies cooked bacon products to the food service sector and many UK retailers.

Peter Judge, managing director of Tulip's north east division, said: “It is with great sadness that we are announcing our intention to cease the production of cooked bacon products at our Thetford site.

“This proposal is in no way a reflection on the quality or dedication of our workforce and we very much regret the impact that the announcement will have.

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“The recent economic downturn is impacting on businesses across the UK and we are operating in a very competitive marketplace that currently has significant over capacity and therefore consolidation is critical if Tulip is to establish itself as the lowest cost producer in the UK.”

A statement from the firm added: “Management will now enter into a 30 day consultation period with union representatives regarding the future of the Thetford site and will be working closely with them to identify ways in which they can lessen the impact of the announcement and support those employees affected by the potential closure.”

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n Turkey giant Bernard Matthews Farms is to cut 130 jobs at its head office and production facility at

Great Witchingham site in Norfolk.

About 95 processing jobs and a further 35 administrative posts will go out of a total workforce of 2,510.

Noel Bartram, chief executive, said: “This action is a consequence of the challenging economic climate that has resulted in increased price sensitivity, a need to lower costs to remain competitive, and less people leaving the business in a very depressed labour market.”

n Vegetarian food producer Linda McCartney has announced 17 job losses in manufacturing cutbacks at its site in Fakenham, Norfolk. The firm's US-based parent company said output now exceeded demand, meaning production hours needed to be reduced.

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