450 jobs cut at chicken factory

Faccenda Group, one of the UK's largest chicken processing companies, has announced a proposal to restructure its business, which will mean the closure of its factory in Sutton Benger.

A total of 450 jobs will be lost in the village when the site shuts.

The company said the proposal follows an extensive review of the company's operations, which found that the market for processing and supplying chicken is becoming increasingly challenging and that Faccenda must continue to cut costs if it is to remain competitive. The business, like many food producers, has been hit hard by the increasing cost of wheat and fuels and the company can more efficiently meet the growing demand for chicken by using three sites instead of four.

Ian Faccenda, managing director of Faccenda Group, said: "We're operating in a very competitive market, where the cost of wheat and fuels has increased enormously in the past year. We have to make changes for the long-term health of our business."

Faccenda, added: "To ensure the business remains strong we're planning to invest up to £3m in our factory at Brackley this year, which will make it one of the largest chicken processing plants in Europe."

"We are also planning to invest a further £2m in our factories at Telford and Dudley over the coming months."

However, as a result of the review, Faccenda has also proposed the closure of its plant at Sutton Benger, near Chippenham in Wiltshire, with the potential loss of approximately 450 jobs.

"We know that today's announcement will come as a shock to staff at Sutton Benger. This has been a very difficult decision for us to take.

"We recognise the high level of commitment and hard work shown by our staff at Sutton Benger, many of whom have been with us for a long time and we will do all we can to support them following the announcement of today's proposal.

"While this has been a difficult decision for us to take, by restructuring now, we're strengthening the business for the future."

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