Nestlé departs UK for Poland taking 300 Blue Riband jobs

Nestlé's Fawdon plant in Newcastle, which makes the Blue Riband chocolate bar, is expected to shift operations to Poland in the next two years. ©Nestle

Nestlé is to move production of its Blue Riband chocolate brand from the UK to Poland with a loss of around 300 jobs.

The Swiss confectioners’ Fawdon plant in Newcastle is expected to bear the brunt of the job cuts with its operations in York, Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Girvan, Ayrshire, also affected.

These losses were expected to occur throughout 2017 and 2018. Nestlé added that these would be achieved through voluntary redundancies.

In a statement, the firm said the proposals were being made to ensure the sites operated more efficiently and remained competitive in a ‘rapidly changing external environment.’

“The proposed changes include amended and standardised shift patterns at each factory and, at Fawdon, the most complex of Nestlé’s UK confectionery sites, the transfer of Blue Riband production to a Nestlé factory in Poland.

“This would mean being able to simplify and focus Fawdon’s operation.”

As well as the Blue Riband brand, the Fawdon site, which is home to 600 jobs, also produces Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, Fruit Gums, Jelly Tots, Rolos, and Matchmakers.

Its site in York makes KitKat, Polo and Milky Bar and was the original home of confectionery firm Rowntree’s, which was acquired by Nestlé in 1988.

Nestlé, added that a 45-day consultation would start with trade unions and employee representatives.

The company, which employs over 8,000 people in the UK, said it appreciated that this was an uncertain time for employees and would work hard to ensure all were supported through this difficult period.

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