Bakkavor site shuts its doors for good

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A FRESH food factory closed its doors for good on Friday after failing to cope with an “unsustainable” mix of falling sales and higher costs.

Exotic Farm Produce in Kirton ceased operation at the end of last week, with up to 66 of the 115 staff now facing redundancy.

Bakkavor, which owns the London Road site, says it has already found roles for several employees at its other sites, which include bases at Holbeach St Marks, Spalding, Sutton Bridge and Bourne, and is continuing to process internal job applications in a bid to reduce the final redundancy total.

It will keep a small accountancy team in place at the site.

A spokesman said: “Despite enormous efforts to try to secure new business, the significant impact of reduced sales volumes and ongoing input inflation, forced Exotic Farm Produce into an unsustainable position.

“During the consultation we have been committed to securing alternative roles for the employees at other sites within the Bakkavör Group, and of the 115 employees at risk of redundancy we currently expect a maximum of 66 job losses.

“However, internal job applications continue to be processed and we anticipate that the final number of redundancies will fall further.

“We appreciate that this has been an extremely difficult period for everyone at Exotic Farm Produce, and would like to commend staff for their patience and understanding during this process, which in no way reflects on their commitment to the business.”

Bakkavor bought the site, which handles peas, beans and exotic vegatables, in August 2007.