Food manufacturing firm Kerry Foods has announced plans to carry out a major review of its operations in Poole.
A restructure at the site could mean that up to 150 members of staff may face losing their jobs, the Bournemouth Echo reports.
The Poole factory specialises in the production of savoury foods including pies and pastries and currently employs around 860 people on a full-time basis.
However, staff have reportedly been informed that a major company restructure is to take place, due to a decline in the number of orders received by the firm and an increase in the cost of raw materials in the industry.
A Kerry Foods spokesman said: "The sector has been extremely competitive and market volumes have fallen over the past year or so. While we have engaged with our workforce in Poole with regard to improving efficiency and a lot of work has been carried out on site, it is regrettable the sector remains extremely competitive and the cost of raw materials has increased."
The spokesman went on to emphasise that agency workers would not be used to replace full-time staff.
Locals have responded to the announcement with a combination of anger, worry and disappointment.
An anonymous former employee told the Bournemouth Echo that workers aged 50 and over were particularly concerned about their future as they may be less successful at finding a new position.
Local councillor Chris Wilson also expressed disappointment over the potential job losses, saying: "Anything that loses jobs in Poole is not good news."
Interim president of the Poole Chamber of Trade and Commerce Simon Harrison echoed Mr Wilson's concerns, but said the body would do its best to help minimise the effects of any job losses or redundancies.
Mr Harrison added that he hoped the restructure could be completed quickly so Kerry Foods could continue contributing to the local business economy in a successful manner.
A 45-day consultation will now take place between the food manufacturing firm and its staff before any decisions are formally announced.