Job threat at meat plant as Tulip targets inefficiency

Up to 118 jobs could go at Tulip Ltd’s cooked meat processing facility in King’s Lynn, Norfolk as the company strives to turn its losses into profits.

The potential redundancies at the factory, which employs 570 people, are being considered as it shifts from a seven to a five-day working week. The move is being made in a bid to tackle falling production volumes and operational inefficiences.

Last month Danish Crown subsidiary Tulip Ltd reported an operating loss of £22m in the year to 30 September 2016. However, the company currently claims its efforts are paying off and it has seen a return to weekly profit in the past few weeks as the turnaround strategy implemented by chief executive Steve Francis pays off.

“The business is now entering into the next phase of its strategy, which is focused on the optimisation and competitiveness of our network of sites across the UK, ensuring we are able to achieve sustained growth while remaining strategically aligned with our core customers,” said Francis.

“Our King’s Lynn facility has suffered from a significant fall in production volumes and continues to make a loss on a weekly basis. We are looking to take steps which will keep the site operational for current and future generations in order to preserve the skills and crafts of producing good quality cooked meats, which means difficult and unavoidable decisions will need to be made.

“A 45-day consultation period has begun, during which the business will engage closely with consumer representatives and those affected in order to minimise impact on people’s lives.”

In September last year, Tulip announced the restructure of the company into four divisions: Tulip Fresh, Tulip Added Value, later renamed Tulip Food Company (UK), Tulip Agriculture and Dalehead Foods.

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