Newport-based business Avana Bakeries is set to close at the end of January, with the potential loss of 150 jobs.

Owner Food Utopia has begun consulting with staff about a proposal to cease production at the site in South Wales, which could result in its closure.

“We have been unable to make sufficient progress in an increasingly competitive market and, as a result, the site is loss-making and financially unsustainable,” a Food Utopia spokesperson said.

“We will continue to explore all options available and seek as much external support as possible as we begin discussions about the future of the operation.”

John James, regional secretary officer for The Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union confirmed a 45-day consultation period from today (15 December) to British Baker, and said meetings have been positive so far.

"We’ve had our first meeting today, which was positive and we’ve asked a lot of questions and will be given a formal response next week on Tuesday at the next meeting."

The site had been threatened with closure two years ago when 2 Sisters, which owned the business at that time, launched a strategic review following the loss of a major contract with Marks & Spencer.

The business, which has also previously been owned by Premier Foods, was acquired by Food Utopia from 2 Sisters.

Newport councillor Chris Evans told British Baker (14 December) that the proposal to cease production was devastating news for the workers at Avana Bakeries.

“These workers have been through this before and there are questions that the company needs to answer,” he said.

“At this stage, I would suggest that the workers call upon our Assembly Members and the local council to offer as much help as they possibly can.”