Leaf UK, the maker of confectionery brand Chewits, could be turning its back on the UK.
The company has announced that it is considering closing its only UK production facility in Southport, Merseyside.
Leaf said that the site could close within five to nine months, affecting up to 150 employees. Production would transfer to facilities in mainland Europe, although the UK would retain a commercial office.
A spokesman said that although it was still undecided where production could move to, possible locations included Holland, Spain, Italy and Scandinavia as Leaf International, of which Leaf UK is a subsidiary, already has facilities in those countries.
Tony Camp, managing director of Leaf UK, added: “In a market as competitive as the UK, we have to take steps to ensure the long-term future of our brands and products.
He added: “I would like to assure our retail and wholesale customers that whatever happens to the company’s plants we have the contingencies in place to ensure continuity of supply and that we will continue to strongly support our brands.”