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2 Sisters to close poultry site

By John Corser | Business | Published:

Food group 2 Sisters is to reduce the number of its poultry sites as part of a turnaround.

The 2 Sisters plant in Wolverhampton

The Birmingham-based business, which has chicken processing plants in West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, is proposing the potential closure of its UK poultry Witham processing site in Essex.

Chief executive Ronald Kers said: “Our stated strategy is to become the number one poultry plus business in Europe and for several months now we have been engaged in a strategic review to facilitate our delivery on this, focussed on improving execution, reducing cost and building a better organisational culture.

“But there is now a pressing need to accelerate our turnaround so we can further increase the performance of our business. That’s why we’re keen to invest where we see potential growth,

“Our UK poultry business will benefit from this further investment and work which has already started to get Fox’s Biscuits in shape for the future ramps up to the next level with some major investment around automation, marketing and product innovation.”

The proposed closure is part of an on-going review of the company’s loss-making sites.

Consultation has started and will explore all possibilities including redeploying Witham staff to other sites.

“We’re all acutely aware that some of our plans, such as reducing our UK poultry footprint, brings uncertainty for colleagues, and it is with regret that we have to make such proposals. But the alternative of doing nothing and hoping for an upturn is not an option,” said Mr Kers.

Commenting on the recent speculation around the sale of the Matthew Walker Christmas Pudding business, he said: “We have been clear for some time now that we will realise the value of our businesses to improve our balance sheet only if it is strategically right for us to do so.

"It is quite natural to get this kind of speculation and, although we do not normally comment, we are in the early stages of a sale process for Matthew Walker and anticipate strong international interest. However, we will only sell at the right time and for the right value and our colleagues would be the first to know if this were to happen.”

2 Sisters cut more than 200 jobs at a Fox’s Biscuit site in the East Midlands earlier this year.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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