Pandemic blamed for job losses at UK’s Valeo Confectionery

A sales drop amid the pandemic has been blamed for job losses at Valeo Confectionery’s production facilities in Pontefract, Yorkshire, UK, reports Neill Barston.

According to local media, a total of 37 job cuts have been made by the business, as it attempts to come to terms with the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

While some segments of confectionery and snacks have benefitted from consumers amid lockdown conditions, it has been reported that lines of some traditional sweets produced by Valeo – including liquorice have not fared well.

The company produces a number of key confectionery favourites, including Barratt sweets, Fox’s mints and Poppets, which have been much-cherished brands in Britain.

Speaking to the Wakefield Express, the company said it ‘had taken a very difficult decision” on redundancies and had aimed to minimise the amount of losses as much as possible. But it cited ongoing challenging conditions as behind the move.

The Pontefract site reportedly employs 162 people, with Irish-headquartered Valeo having taken over the business from its former owners Tangerine in a £100 million move in August 2018.

Furthermore, it has been reported by Sky News that parent company Valeo Foods may itself be sold, valued at a reported sum of £1.5 billion, with a move said to be anticipated in the coming months.

Founded in 2006, Tangerine had held established brands such as Barratt (which sells Black Jack, Fruit Salad, Sherbet Fountain, Refreshers and Dip Dab), Taveners, Jamesons and Princess. The business also developed global presence in  Australia, Canada, Scandinavia, the US and, more recently, the Middle East, and employed over 1,000 people across five sites in the North of England.

Confectionery Production approached Valeo for further comment on the story, and though the business was unable to add to its previous statement, it confirmed that the number of job losses was correct.



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