South Wigston based pie and pizza manufacturer RF Brookes, part of Premier Foods, has announced it is to shed up to 200 jobs, following the loss of its pie contract with Marks & Spencer (M&S).

A spokesperson for M&S told British Baker that RF Brookes had been supplying the retailer with pies, pizzas and battered foods, however it recently took part in a competitive tender process for its pie business, in which it was unsuccessful.

He said the pie contract was awarded to Samworth Brothers, but added that RF Brookes is still supplying M&S with pizza and battered foods.

A spokesperson for Premier Foods told British Baker that after intensive negotiations to mitigate the impact of this decision on the workforce at RF Brookes in Leicester, the contract will transfer in two stages, in September 2011 and June 2012.

“Regrettably, this could lead to the loss of 200 jobs from the site which currently employs 720 people. Consultation with the workforce over these plans will begin immediately,” he said, adding that RF Brookes still remained a “significant supplier” to M&S for other food lines.

“The company remains committed to Leicester and will continue to invest in the site to make it more efficient and better able to compete for new business and safeguard the 520 jobs that will remain.”