UK- Pilgrim’s UK has announced plans to shut down two of its factories Bury St. Edmunds and Coalville factories as part of strategy to revive business across the kingdom.
The JBS-owned company revealed that operations of the two facilities have been shifted to alternative UK locations in Corsham, Kings Lynn, Linton, and Andover.
Pilgrim’s also announced that its Ashton facility in northwest England had shifted to a four-day work week in line with current trends in the labor market.
A spokesperson for the company said that over the last 18 months, the UK pig sector has faced the most challenging time in its history due to a combination of significant increases in production costs among other factors.
“Many of these challenges are ongoing and resulted in Pilgrim’s UK recording an operating loss of GBP16m (US$18.3m) for the year to 26 December 2021.”
Rachel Baldwin, vice president of HR for Pilgrim’s UK, said that the decision to propose the closure of the sites and put a number of roles at risk at Ashton has not been taken lightly.
She, however, noted the decision was unfortunately essential to help the business recover and secure a sustainable future for all of its team members across the UK.
A total of 35 workers in Ashton, 350 in Coalville, and about 290 in Bury St. Edmunds will be at risk of being laid off as a result of the transfer.
Pilgrim’s UK has the most integrated supply chain in the industry. Through these difficult circumstances, Pilgrim’s UK has continued to support its more than 1,000 farmers together with its important strategic partners.
This included successfully collaborating with retail partners in 2022 to create new strategies for ensuring that British farmers are paid a fair price for their output, which amounted to more than GBP£35 million in support commitments.
President Ivan Siqueira, who joined the company in January 2022, has been in charge of implementing its evolved business structure to ensure ongoing exceptional service to its customers while continuing to supply the UK market with the highest-quality food.
Despite the difficulties of 2021, Pilgrim’s UK has kept investing for the future and has expanded the diversification of its business through the purchase and incorporation of Randall Parker Foods.
Additionally, it has continued to advance its ambitious 2030 net zero roadmaps while focusing on being the most sustainable food company.
In the upcoming twelve months, the company aims to invest more than GBP£10 million in sustainability projects across all of its activities.
The investment is a part of Pilgrim’s Pride’s US$1 billion sustainability commitment across all of its international activities, demonstrating the added strength provided by Pilgrim’s UK’s membership in such a vast worldwide network.
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