MP’s fears at plan to axe 300 Caistor duck plant staff

MP Sir Edward Leigh has raised ‘deep’ concerns over plans to axe 300 staff at a duck processing plant - and is calling on the company to reconsider the move.

Avara Foods EMN-200505-085931001

The Conservative MP has written to Avara Foods in Caistor asking the firm to ‘consider the impact’ mass redundancies will have in the middle of a ‘public health emergency’.

Sir Edward said: “I am deeply worried over the threat to 300 workers in my constituency.

“I have written to the CEO of Avara Foods offering help and asking him to consider the impact such a decision would have, especially in the middle of a public health emergency.

“Why not furlough the workers instead of making them redundant?

“During this crisis it’s vital that businesses and government work together in the common good so I have also written to Alok Sharma MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, to inform him of the seriousness of this situation and see if there’s any way he can 

“We want to make sure that Avara Foods and its workers have all the support they can get to keep these jobs safe.”

Avara Foods is set to close its North Kelsey Road site, blaming increasingly challenging market conditions.

The company - which took over the former Cherry Valley Foods - has begun a consultation with staff on the future of the operation.

Avara Foods CEO Andy Dawkins said: “This has been an incredibly difficult decision and one that reflects a market that has gradually deteriorated over several years.

“Despite investment in the business and the best efforts of all involved, the market has reached the point where the business is no longer sustainable, with no clear route to recovery.”

He added: “We are now committed to a meaningful consultation process and, if our proposal goes ahead, providing the necessary support to everyone affected and a smooth transition with all our trading partners.”