Future of Del Monte plant in the balance

A question mark is hanging over the future of a King's Lynn prepared fruit and vegetable producer.

A question mark is hanging over the future of a King's Lynn prepared fruit and vegetable producer.

Del Monte refused to comment on the future of its site in West Lynn, which employs 82 people and supplies supermarkets all over the country with fruit juice and canned foods.

The EDP understands that the company is reviewing options for the site, in St Peter's Road, and will not be making an announcement until next month.

It comes just 17 months after Del Monte announced they were closing their site at Methwold, which saw the loss 250 jobs, after the loss of contracts with key customers.

It was the biggest employer in Methwold which had a population of 800 at the time.

That site was eventually bought by Premier Foods which produces vegetarian and organic produce, Quorn and Cauldron, in its chilled food facility there.

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Premier is now due to close its Cambells factory site in King's Lynn by the end of the year, although it is creating more jobs at its Wisbech and Long Sutton sites.

As well as the Lynn factory, Del Monte has a factory Wisbech which employs about 290 people.

The Weasenham Lane-based facility is a fresh-cut or prepared fruit facility where bags or pots are filled with apple slices, fruit salads, melon slices, exotic mixes and so on.

The UK head quarters is in Staines under managing director Peter Miller.

MP for west Norfolk Henry Bellingham said last night: “I am concerned about the food manufacturing sector as a whole because there is a huge shake-up at the moment.

“Thank goodness for Palm Paper coming to King's Lynn which will bring in jobs.

“The important thing for the management of Del Monte is that they need to clarify the situation as soon as possible.”

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