6 November 2000
Pig giant announces 450 job losses

By FWi staff

THE countrys biggest pigmeat processor, Malton Foods, has announced 450 job losses and will close its Middlesborough factory early next year.

Max Hilliard, chief executive of Malton Foods, said the company regretted the closure, but said it was necessary to sustain profitable trading.

“We need to realign processing capacity in the light of the continuing adverse conditions in the UK pig industry and the need to remain competitive.”

Mr Hilliard said a range of alternative jobs may be offered to staff from the Middlesborough plant at the companys main factory in Malton, North Yorkshire.

The Malton factory, which is about 30 miles from Middlesborough, is “within travelling distance” for staff, said Mr Hilliard.

About 10% of the 2500 people who work at the Malton Bacon Factory already commute from the Cleveland area, he added.

“We are committed to maintaining our major role in the UKs pigmeat industry with a cost base that is structured to sustain profitable trading,” he added.

Malton employes up to 7000 people across 11 sites in England and Northern Ireland. It is involved in selling own-brand pigmeat products to supermarkets.

During the summer, Malton temporarily refused to take East Anglian pigs as a result of the classical swine fever outbreak.

The ban was lifted three days later. East Anglian pigs account for about 10% of Maltons throughput and are slaughtered at the Middlesborough plant.