Jobs axed as Kirton food factory closes

A KIRTON-based fresh produce factory has closed with the loss of up to 66 jobs.

The Bakkavor-owned Exotic Farm Produce, in London Road, ceased operations on Friday after concluding its 90-day consultation period over the site’s future.

As previously reported in The Standard, there were 115 employees originally at risk of redundancy but the company has since secured jobs for about half of these at other sites in the company’s group.

A spokesman for Bakkavor said: “Despite enormous efforts to try to secure new business, the significant impact of reduced sales volumes and ongoing input inflation forced Exotic Farm Produce into an unsustainable position.

“Of the 115 employees originally at risk of redundancy we currently expect a maximum of 66 job losses. However, internal job applications continue to be processed and we anticipate the final number of redundancies will fall further. There will be a small accountancy team retained at the site.”

He added: “We appreciate that this has been an extremely difficult period for everyone at Exotic Farm Produce, and would like to commend staff for their patience and understanding during this process.”

Icelandic firm Bakkavor bought the Kirton factory site in 2007.

l What do you think? Email your views to gemma.gadd@jpress.co.uk.