A successful pre-Christmas trading period has meant planned redundancies have been reduced at Haydens Bakeries.

According to The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald, the Devizes bakery in Wiltshire had been planning to make between 50 and 60 staff redundant in the New Year. This figure has fallen to 40-45, most of which will be voluntary.

In October this year the firm announced it would be entering into a consultation on potential job losses as high commodities costs hit the company hard.

However, according to the Gazette, new shift patterns being implemented at the factory could mean additional jobs becoming available in the coming year.

Managing director Paul Smith was quoted as saying: "We are changing our shift patterns, so people will have to work more days but fewer hours per day, with shifts down from 12 to eight.

"This change has had the effect of us needing a few more people, so we are now actively recruiting. The people who are being made redundant are those who are not prepared to accept the new shift system and are taking our voluntary redundancy package. Compulsory redundancies are likely to be in the low teens."

Haydens – a major bakery, patisserie and desserts supplier to Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Costa – launched Hopton Distribution this summer, based at the firm’s site in Devizes, Wiltshire. It features a picking operation that supplies Waitrose stores, with consolidated loads going into Waitrose depots.

According to parent company the Real Good Food Company’s latest trading update last week, the planned modernisation of the Haydens Bakeries plant is progressing, although running around six months behind the original schedule.

"In November we took the first step in a major reorganisation of shift patterns and will be introducing improved production cycles in Q1 2012, which we expect to have a major impact on performance," added the firm.