More than 100 jobs at risk at Tulip in King’s Lynn

Tulip in King's Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher

Tulip in King's Lynn. Picture: Matthew Usher - Credit: Matthew Usher

More than 100 jobs are at risk at a factory in King's Lynn.

Tulip Ltd has today announced it has entered into consultation with employees and their representatives over proposals it says could mean 118 redundancies at its cooked meats plant on the Hardwick industrial estate.

The site, which currently employs 570 people, is also proposing to revert to a five day working from its current seven-day operation.

Having reported a loss of around £22m for the year ending September 2016, Tulip Ltd has just achieved weekly profit in recent weeks, marking the completion of a business-wide turnaro

programme led by newly-appointed CEO Steve Francis, which followed the restructuring of the organisation last September.

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Mr Francis said: 'Our King's Lynn facility has suffered from a significant fall in production volumes and continues 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 the employee representatives and those affected in order to minimise impact on people's lives.'

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Mr Francis said the changes were part of a strategy which focused on 'the optimisation and competitiveness' of Tulip's sites across the UK.

Tulip in the UK is part of the Danish Crown Group, which is owned by a co-operative of 8,000 farmers. The King's Lynn site - one of 17 around the country - produces sliced cooked meats.

Days after he took over as chief executive last September, Mr Francis said: 'Tulip is a great business but, over the last few years or so, it has lost its edge. It's not that Tulip has gotten worse, more a case of the competition having moved forward.

'I want to simplify what we do, which isn't terribly difficult because we're a great business with fantastic customer relationships, so we are starting out from a position of strength. What we need to do is to reinforce the things we are already doing well and stop what we are doing less well.'

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