Grimsby firm sheds 530 jobs –

Grimsby firm sheds 530 jobs Published:  15 October, 2008

The Icelandic chilled foods company Bakkavor dropped a bombshell last night by announcing it was planning to close its Mariner Foods plant in Grimsby with the loss of 530 jobs.

The factory, which makes a wide range of products including chilled ready meals for retailers like Waitrose, is one of the most modern in the area and underwent a major expansion programme about seven years ago.

Ironically, the news comes just two weeks after another Icelandic company, Coldwater Seafoods, completed a £1.5 million expansion in the port and days after the Icelandic fisheries minister reassured Grimsby on fish supplies.

North East Lincolnshire Council leader Andrew de Freitas said he was shocked by the news and called for an urgent meeting with Bakkavor chiefs to see if the council could do anything to save the site. .

The company has not blamed the Icelandic banking crisis for the decision, but said that ‘sustained levels of unprecedented inflation’ for forcing it to consider closing the Mariner Foods plant, but added it would consider alternatives.

A spokesman added: ‘Uncertain consumer demand on top of the rise in inflationary costs has resulted in Bakkavor having to consider making changes to align its cost base.

‘Over the last year, the food industry has experienced sustained levels of unprecedented inflation. Mariner Foods has not been exempt from these pressures and consequently is experiencing continued unsustainable losses.’

This is the biggest blow to the port since Birds Eye quit in 2003 with 600 job losses. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.