Greencore plans factory closure: 400 jobs at risk

Greencore revealed plans to close its Evercreech chilled desserts factory

Greencore has revealed plans to close its chilled desserts factory in Evercreech, Somerset, putting about 400 jobs at risk.

The convenience food manufacturer said the facility was in need of repair or replacing; a financially unsustainable move. Production would continue at Evercreech until April 2018, it added.

“Greencore can confirm that it is proposing to discontinue the manufacture of chilled desserts at its Evercreech facility in Somerset,” said a Greencore spokesman.

“After a detailed review, it has been decided that there are no financially sustainable solutions to repair or replace the current facility, which is now 126 years old and in need of significant refurbishment. Under the terms of the proposal, the bulk of the site’s current production would remain in place until April 2018.”

Greencore has started a 45-day consultation period with staff and their representatives at the Evercreech site, it confirmed.

45-day consultation period

The manufacturer reserved further comment, until after the consultation period had finished.

What Mendip District Council says
  • “We understand that potentially hundreds of Greencore employees could be affected, and recognise that this may also have implications for local businesses in the supply chain across Mendip”

Stuart Brown

A Somerset County Council spokeswoman said: “We are saddened to hear the news regarding the closure of the factory at Evercreech.

“Somerset County Council is working with our partners, Mendip District Council, to offer assistance or advice if we can, but it’s still very early in the consultation process to know what the outcome will be.”

Mendip District Council will visit the Evercreech site this week, it said. It will do everything it can to help affected staff, it added.

Mendip District Council chief executive Stuart Brown said: “We are deeply disappointed to hear that Greencore has entered consultations over the potential closure of its site in Evercreech. Representatives of Mendip District Council will be visiting the site this week to consult with Greencore’s senior management team.

‘Hundreds of Greencore employees’

“We understand that potentially hundreds of Greencore employees could be affected and recognise that this may also have implications for local businesses in the supply chain across Mendip. We are keen to do everything possible to mitigate any impacts and will work with the company and other agencies to explore every avenue to help affected staff.”

The planned factory closure came less than eight months after Greencore advertised for 300 seasonal Christmas workers at the Evercreech desserts plant. Some staff would also be recruited after December, Greencore said at the time. All of the advertised roles were in production.

In July 2015, the Evercreech site won Marks & Spencer (M&S) Silver Accreditation in the retailer’s How We Do Business supplier audit. The award was won after M&S auditors visited the site to score its performance against three main criteria: ethical operations, environment and economy.

Greencore manufactures 100M cakes – including 3M Christmas cakes – and desserts every year.

Meanwhile, earlier this week (May 23), Greencore said its acquisition of US firm Peacock Foods was the driver behind its 46.1% rise in group revenue to £1.01bn. 

Greencore planned factory closure – at a glance
  • Planned closure of Evercreech, Somerset, facility
  • Chilled desserts manufacturing site
  • About 400 workers at site
  • 45-day consultation period begins
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