The Produce World Group has announced plans to restructure, forming a Joint Venture growing, harvesting, packing and marketing brassicas with LFP (Lincolnshire Field Products) based at Wykeham just outside Spalding.
The joint venture with LFP will mean that the overall Produce World Group will have a turnover of around ?250m, and will be the biggest grower and supplier of fresh vegetables in the UK. Around ?10m will be invested across the Wykeham and Isleham sites.
Once formed, the Joint Venture would be responsible for all growing and harvesting, and all processing and packing would take place at Wykeham.
As a result, the Produce World Group has proposed the closure of its site at Butterwick.
Consultations have commenced with colleagues and their representatives at Butterwick. It is anticipated that, while there would be job losses at Butterwick, around 60 new jobs would be created at Wykeham.
Produce World has also announced that it proposes closing its factory at Swinderby and moving all processing and packing of conventionally grown root vegetables to its site at Isleham. Additional processing and storage facilities are being built at the Isleham site to cope with the additional tonnage, and a number of new jobs will be created.
The company has entered into consultation with colleagues and their representatives at the Swinderby site.
Produce World Group Executive Chairman Neil Fraser said: ?At Produce World we are growing our business and developing a structure which will enable us to meet the current and future challenges in the industry. We are operating in a low margin business and more consolidation across the industry is inevitable. At the same time our customers are experiencing a period of unprecedented competition and changing consumer shopping habits.
?We have acted to ensure we can meet these challenges and make the Produce World Group sustainable for the future. We are committed to the long-term for the business and for fresh vegetable growing in Lincolnshire and across East Anglia.
?Our roots business at Isleham already operates successfully as a Joint Venture with Tompsett Burgess Growers and this is the model we plan to use with LFP.
?We are very much aware of the impact that the proposed closures will have on our colleagues at Butterwick and Swinderby, and we have considered and will consider every possible option before implementing these proposals. Both sites will remain open for a number of months and we will do everything we can to help colleagues to find alternative employment including jobs within the Produce World Group.?
Farming remains at the heart of the Produce World Group. It grows its own potatoes and onions, as well as having partnerships with its key growers including LFP, Tompsett Burgess Growers, Greenshoots, and Taylorgrown.