Jobs at risk at Long Sutton factory

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OFFICE jobs will be cut at Premier Foods’ site in Long Sutton after it sells off its canning operations to Princes.

Last week we revealed that food giant Princes is expected to snap up the Premier sites in both Long Sutton and Wisbech in a £182million deal, and has pledged to keep on all the staff it takes as part of that buyout.

However, the Spalding Guardian understands that deal does not include administration staff who work for Premier Foods.

There are thought to be 153 workers in Long Sutton and Wisbech who are not classed as part of the canning operations and 90 of those could lose their jobs.

A spokesman for Premier Foods said it was not possible to say how many of those jobs will go in Long Sutton.

As we revealed last week the deal, which is widely expected to be completed in March, would see brands such as Crosse & Blackwell, Fray Bentos and Farrow’s transferred to Princes.

Branston and Batchelors would stay under the ownership of Premier Foods but licensed to Princes under a long-term deal.

Princes says the 600-strong canning workforce will be kept on and that the purchase is part of its expansion plans – opening up new products such as baked beans and soup to its portfolio.

A spokesman said: “As part of the proposed acquisition, any employees based at Long Sutton who primarily work on the canning operations would transfer to Princes.

“Princes is not planning to reduce employee numbers at the site.”

Premier Foods said that it was “unlikely” that the buyout deal will fall through and, provided it does not, the at-risk staff will go through a consultation period.

The money from the sale will be used to pay off debts at Premier Foods.