W.C.Rowe has announced that it will be making a number of redundancies following a major contract loss.

The Penryn-based bakery firm was believed to be making around 40 members of staff redundant, with speculation surrounding the contract loss believed to be with a major supermarket chain, as previously reported in The Falmouth Packet.

A company spokesperson was unable to confirm who the contract loss was with, but stated that less than 40 jobs would be affected by the move. Rowe’s currently employs around 500 staff and has 20 of its own retail outlets and six Asda concessions in the South West and south of England,

Rowe’s released a statement, which said: “We can confirm that due to the loss of a significant production contract at our bakery on Kernick Industrial Estate in Penryn, we are currently in the process of realigning staff numbers to make sure they are in line with production volumes. We regret that this has lead to some redundancies from the Kernick site, which mainly produces our breads and sweet products.

“As a proudly Cornish company of over 60 years we are committed to creating and maintaining local jobs. We currently employ over 500 people, mostly in Cornwall, therefore we have not taken any of these difficult decisions regarding redundancies lightly. We have redeployed a number of people to one of the growth areas of the business, namely our bakery on the Bickland Industrial Estate in Falmouth, which produces all of our pasties and other savoury products. We have ambitious growth plans for of this part of our business and hope to continue creating new local jobs.”

The Cornish bakery set out a five-year development strategy last July, proposing to expand its manufacturing facilities and take over a new industrial unit on Bickland Industrial Estate.

Alan Pearce, managing director of Rowe’s, told British Baker: "Expanding our production facilities is a key part of our five-year growth strategy. With the Cornish pasty being granted PGI status, we have a unique opportunity to increase the output of our genuine Cornish pasties, both for our own retail units in the south west and to our trade customers throughout the UK.