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Heinz to create 80 UK food manufacturing jobs

Heinz to create 80 UK food manufacturing jobs

Food company Heinz has confirmed plans to increase jobs at its Telford plant as it continues to consolidate its European operations.

The manufacturer will create 80 new positions at the Birmingham plant following the decision to cease production in Belgium.

It is expected that the Heinz plant in Turnhout, in Flanders, will close by the end of 2014 following the relocation of the brand's tomato ketchup production to the UK. A total of 157 staff will be lose their jobs as a result.

A statement from Heinz said: "If implemented, this would be a critical step in our plan to ensure we are operating as efficiently and effectively as possible to become more competitive in a challenging environment, and to accelerate the company’s future growth.

"We have reached this difficult but necessary proposal in order to consolidate manufacturing and eliminate excess capacity. At the same time, Heinz intends to continue to invest in improving capacity utilisation and would propose to add around 80 employees at our Telford manufacturing site."

The majority of tomato ketchup made at the Belgium site is shipped for sale in the UK so the move will reduce transport costs for the company and is part of a global restructure for the key food manufacturer.

Last year, Heinz was purchased by Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital for $23 billion (£18 billion).

It is estimated that the firm's annual ketchup sales total more than $1.5 billion (£0.8 billion) across 140 countries and equal sales of around 650 million bottles.

Heinz recently confirmed the closure of two other sites in the US and Canada, with a loss of 1,350 jobs as it attempts to cut costs and break into emerging markets.

The company currently has 118 employees at its Telford site and employs more than 2,500 across the UK and Ireland. Its headquarters are in Hayes, Middlesex and there are numerous food factories around the country. In August 2013, a total of 250 office jobs were cut.


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