Leading food firm to axe 400 jobs

A LEADING food company plans to axe more than 400 jobs and close a factory under a "transformation programme," it was announced yesterday.

Burton's Foods said its site at Moreton, Wirral, which makes Jammie Dodgers and Wagon Wheels, is to close with the loss of 342 jobs, while 70 redundancies are proposed at a factory in Llantarnam, near Newport in South Wales.

The company said it was responding to an "increasingly challenging and competitive environment", adding that it was investing 7m in Llantarnam and another site in Edinburgh.

The Unite union reacted with anger to the news, saying workers were "devastated".

Burton's said the announcement formed part of a new 25m three-year capital spending programme.

Ben Clarke, chief executive of Burton's Foods, said: "The proposed job losses are deeply regrettable but, along with the new 25m investment we are making, will help deliver sustainable profitable growth for the company in a highly competitive market."