Tulip is planning to cut 118 jobs at its food production plant in King’s Lynn. This reportedly formed part of the meat processor’s strategy.  The company revealed on July 20 that this was part of its plan to mitigate dwindling production volumes. Already the company has started a 45-day consultation period with employees plus their representatives.

‘Fall in production volumes’

The company’s CEO Steve Francis was quoted saying: “Our King’s Lynn facility has suffered from a significant fall in production volumes and continues to make a loss on a weekly basis.

Tough and unavoidable decisions

Francis continued: “We are looking to take steps which will keep the site operational for current and future generations in order to preserve the skills and crafts of producing good quality cooked meats, which means difficult and unavoidable decisions will need to be made.”

The company revealed that it wanted to reduce the factory’s working week from 7 days to 5 days. Currently, the site has 570 employees and the number of its staff could be reduced to 452.

Francis said that Tulip planned to increase productivity at all of its 16 UK sites and the proposed job cuts were part of its strategy.  A report last month by the company showed that it suffered a £21.8M loss for the whole financial year to September 30, 2016.

‘Optimisation and competitiveness’ across the UK sites

Francis further said: “The business is now entering into the next phase of its strategy, which is focused on the optimisation and competitiveness of our network of sites across the UK, ensuring we are able to achieve sustained growth while remaining strategically aligned with our core customers.

“A 45-day consultation period has begun during which the business will engage closely with the employee representatives and those affected in order to minimise impact on people’s lives.”

In the meantime, speaking to Food Manufacture in May, Tulip’s owner Danish Crown said that the company intended to retain all of its UK sites which are 16 in total, warning that continued access to qualified non-UK European Union employees was crucial for the firm.

Danish Crown chief executive Jais Valeur was reported saying: “We need access to qualified labour, be they British or from anywhere else – I don’t really care. I just want to make sure we keep 7,000 jobs in the UK – I just think it’s pretty damn important for the country.”