Meat manufacturer Tulip has revealed that it is closing three of its manufacturing facilities. It said it would close its cooked meat factories in Chard, Somerset, and Chippenham, Wiltshire, by the end of January 2007, affecting 850 jobs.
Tulip is the latest food manufacturer to add to the growing number of factory closures in 2006. Since the start of the year, six companies have announced that they will be closing their factories.
Last week, ice cream manufacturer Hill Station confirmed it was closing its site at Cheadle, Cheshire, within six months and transferring manufacturing to a factory in Cwmbran, Wales.
Meanwhile, a leading trade figure has warned UK food producers to wake up to the fact that cheap imports are a fact of life. Speaking at the Provision Trade Federation’s annual dinner earlier this week, Arthur Reeves, chairman of the PTF, explained that it would be impossible for the UK to become completely self-sufficient in food production - unless it withdrew from the EU and restricted the choice of products on shop shelves.
“In the short term, at least, demand for cheap, good quality food will increase and if the UK can’t produce it, then there will be more imports.”
>>p34 Shutting up shop