Staff take a pay cut at Banham Group

Staff at a Norfolk poultry producer have taken a pay cut amid financial difficulties for the firm.

Directors at Attleborough-based Banham Group – which supplies chicken to major supermarkets across the UK – said they were 'indebted to their loyal staff' after an agreement was made to temporarily reduce pay.

In a statement issued to the EDP yesterday the Banham Group, which employs around 600 people, said it had entered into a 90-day consultation process with its employees earlier this year.

The firm said that all staff had been involved and affected by the consultation process.

The statement said: 'The purpose of the consultation process was and remains to explore all possible opportunities of improving efficiencies within the business against the backdrop of a very competitive poultry market within the UK that is controlled by the major supermarkets and their desire to reduce their costs and prices to consumers.

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'Given such a difficult economic climate, and in order to secure jobs and group viability going forward, after various meetings with our employee representatives throughout an extremely constructive consultation period it was agreed to make temporary changes to staff benefits and packages.'

It continued: 'One of these changes did include a reduction in pay for some staff, and the directors are extremely grateful and indebted to our loyal staff who are pulling in the same direction with us to try and help the financial difficulties faced by the group at this time.'

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Although the consultation period has expired, negotiations will extend into 2012 by agreement with employee representatives.

The company began in the village of Banham in 1959, and moved to Attleborough in the 1980s.

Following a serious fire in August 1998, the company purchased and re-developed an old redundant cider factory at the current Station Road site in January 1999.

The company also runs its own hatchery, which supplies all farms producing poultry for the company.

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