Fears jobs may be lost at a major food company in South Holland have followed the announcement it will no longer be packing potatoes for Asda from July next year.
A four-page document delivered anonymously to the Spalding Guardian states: “QV Foods at Holbeach Hurn has been served notice by Asda to cease packing potatoes in July 2016 – this will affect jobs.”
However, in spite of confirmation by QV Foods that Asda has decided to take packing potatoes ‘in house’, the firm says it is looking to “fill the capacity that will be created in the summer of 2016”.
The document sent to the Spalding Guardian claims: “QV Foods owners selfishly play it low key with employees and the community to protect their critical period of wind down.
“QV Foods Inchture (Scotland) will be taken over by IPL (ASDA). QV Foods Holbeach Hurn will cease packing for Asda and the over-sized QV Foods site at March could potentially become redundant with loss of Asda business.
“Lorry drivers, pack house staff, management and office staff could all lose their jobs, but little is known locally of the Asda announcement.”
Two weeks ago farming Minister George Eustice MP visited QV Foods in Holbeach Hurn on a tour of South Holland to discuss its place at the centre of the UK food production.
A spokesman for QV Foods said: “We put out an announcement to all our workforce on December 2.
“It stated, as part of an Asda initiative to take potato packing ‘in house’, we have reached an agreement in principle with Asda/IPL to sell them our Scottish packing capability.
“The deal is expected to conclude in 2016 and will include, for all QVS staff who wish to do so, an opportunity to transfer. We are considering various alternative options for our continued packing in Scotland post 2016.
“We understand that Asda/IPL have reached a similar agreement with Fenmarc regarding their Westry site and as such it is likely that we will cease to pack fresh potatoes for Asda in the summer of 2016 and consequently we are also considering options for the spare capacity that will result on our Holbeach site.
“We will continue to liaise with all our stakeholders in an open and honest way as things become clearer over the extended notice period that we have.
“In the meantime, we will be working on filling the capacity that will be created in the summer of 2016.”