Icelandic Seachill has warned its Grimsby staff that a large number of jobs are at risk following the loss of a £50-£60 million Marks & Spencer contract.
THE workforce was given the bad news in a memo from the management last month.
UK chief executive Simon Smith said in a statement: ‘We have been informed by M&S that they have chosen to give the contract for all their business with us to alternative suppliers.
‘This affects coated, encroute and deli business. This decision will have a huge impact on our business and the unfortunate reality is that a large number of roles may be at risk.
‘We are currently reviewing all practicable alternative scenarios. It is early days and we are working on detailed proposals which we will share with our employees at the earliest opportunity.
‘Our number one priority is to support those directly impacted by the decision that M&S have taken. The timing of the transfer of business is, as yet, unknown.’
He added: ‘The news comes after a trading relationship of more than 30 years and the contract is worth in the region of £50-£60 million.
‘The Icelandic Seachill business remains in good shape with strong and continuing partnerships with our remaining customers.’
Smith later said on local BBC television that job losses could be in their hundreds. The entire site employs 1,400 people.
M&S is reportedly moving part of the business to Five Star Fish of Grimsby, which is owned by the Boparan Group, and to Greencore for coated fish prawn cocktails respectively. Both companies already produce some products for the retailer.
Icelandic Seachill also owns the award winning Saucy Fish range but that business is not affected by these latest events.
The news has come as something of a shock and reflects the fierce, almost cut- throat competition in the seafood business today.
It is exactly a year since Young’s Seafood, also of Grimsby, lost a £100 million salmon processing contract to Marine Harvest.
Huge impact “The unfortunate reality is that a large number of roles may be at risk”
Above: Simon Smith