All 250 workers at Bernard Matthews’ sandwich business have been made redundant, after it was acquired by Irish company Kerry Foods.
Around 150 jobs have been axed with the closure of the company’s Dunstable factory, with the remaining redundancies coming from the van sales business.
Frank Hayes, director of corporate affairs at Kerry Foods, confirmed to British Baker that it had acquired the assets of the sandwich-making firm, but had told the Dunstable workforce that it would not be required to operate the facility.
The Bernard Matthews sandwich business in Dunstable opened in 2003 and, through the Yummy Food Company brand, supplied retailers including Superdrug and Morrisons. However, a Bernard Matthews spokesman said: "Following an extensive review of our business in the current and projected challenging trading environment, it has become clear that we need to change the strategies and organisation if we are to secure Bernard Matthews’ future as a sustainable business." He added the company would now concentrate on its "historical core business of turkey farming and production".
Miles Hubbard, regional industrial organiser of the Unite union, which represents Bernard Matthews workers, said the redundancies were "regrettable" but the only alternative appeared to be "summary closure".