300 jobs lost as food company closes Gloucestershire factory

A food processing firm has announced it is to axe more than 300 jobs in Gloucestershire.

Avara has blamed ring prices on the decision to close its factory in Newent with the loss of 320 jobs.

The factory is due to close in spring of next year.

Avara Foods is one of the UK’s largest food businesses supplying chicken and turkey to supermarkets and restaurant chains.

The company said inflation had affected the cost of fuel, commodities, and labour over the past two years.

The company added that price rises had not been enough to mitigate the full impact of rising costs.

A statement said: “These can only be achieved if inflation can be sufficiently offset and that, in turn, demands excellent productivity and efficiency.

“Avara has taken steps already in this regard, including the recent closure of its Abergavenny facility.

“However, it has recognized the need to take further actions to continue to deliver a fifth of UK-produced chicken every week, through the most efficient operational footprint.

“Regretfully, this process has identified that its existing chicken volumes and full product range could be processed more efficiently, and with lower capital investment, by focusing on fewer, better invested facilities.

“Critically, this will enable Avara to continue providing all its customers with the high levels of service, investment and innovation for which it is known.”

The company added: “This decision has not been taken quickly, but through long-term business planning focused on delivering a sustainable poultry model able to supply a significant percentage of UK poultry supply now and into the future. It is clearly no reflection on the hard-working colleagues at the Newent facility.

“In the coming days Avara will begin a collective consultation process with the individuals that are affected by this proposal. The nature of this consultation means that no final decisions have been made and there will be no speculation as to how the process will conclude.”