Big cut-backs at three egg packing stations have been announced, as Noble Foods wasted no time in tackling the structural problems facing the industry.

 

Britain’s new egg giant, created by the merger of Deans Foods and Stonegate) is closing the Gubblecote pant in Hertfordshire, one of Deans’ oldest sites almost a stone’s throw from its Tring headquarters.

 

There will also be a radical change of emphasis at Standlake, Oxfordshire, and Walesby, Notts. 

 

In future, all barn, free range and organic eggs will be channelled to one of two super packing centres: the former Stonegate plant at Lacock in Wiltshire and the Deans’ North Scarle plant in Lincs.

 

That leaves Thornton in Fife, Scotland, and Freshlay at Holdsworthy, Devon, which will continue to pack both intensive and alternative system eggs.

 

The extent of job losses has yet to be confirmed as the company undergoes the statutory 90-day consultation period, but Noble admits the redundancies will be “significant”.

 

“The egg industry continues to experience very difficult trading conditions and we must address our costs base,” said chief executive Michael Kent.

For more on this story, see this month’s Poultry World.