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More than 550 "threatened" jobs after the proposed closure of the chicken plant

Chicken factory

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Group 2 Sisters Food Group has proposed to close the Freebournes Road site

More than 550 jobs in a chicken plant are under threat after its closure.

2 The Sisters Food Group said that products manufactured at Freebournes Road in Witham, Essex, could be produced "more efficiently elsewhere".

The company employs 555 people on site and said that everyone is "now in danger of redundancy".

She said she was going to deal with "redeployment opportunities" at her two Norfolk offices.

The company said in its statement: "Our ongoing review of the British strategic footprint of poultry has concluded that we need shorter and leaner supply chains to remain competitive in an extremely demanding sector.

"Our main priority now is to conduct meaningful consultations with all concerned employees."

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Factory worker Trevor Harvey described the site as "crumbling"

The company supplies chickens to most large UK supermarkets and also owns Fox's Biscuits and Holland's Pies.

Trevor Harvey, who has been working for the past 25 years, said, "I will miss a place, but what you can do.

"Recently, orders are taking place, we didn't have a lot of work to do. You can't do anything about it. It's inevitable."

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The Union united that the closure was a "grim report" for 555 people employed locally

Unite Regional Officer Michelle Cook said the closure of the factory was "a grim report for the workforce and more generally for the economy of Essex".

She said, "Unite is trying to urge a meeting with the leadership to clarify the implications of what is being proposed."

The Union would "try to avoid compulsory layoffs," she added.

In September 2017, the Food Standards Agency investigated the company after the alleged security breach in one of its West Bromwich factories led to a temporary suspension of operations.

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