Jobs safe after court ruling

ONE of the country's largest feed manufacturers, BOCM Pauls Ltd, has won a temporary reprieve from a European Union dictat that could have cost the company £4 million and threatened hundreds of jobs.

ONE of the country's largest feed manufacturers, BOCM Pauls Ltd, has won a temporary reprieve from a European Union dictat that could have cost the company £4 million and threatened hundreds of jobs.

The Ipswich-based company was outraged that an EU law could force it to reveal its closely-guarded trade secrets.

BOCM Pauls would have had to list the precise percentage of each ingredient in a product on the product's packaging.

The company, together with five other feed manufacturers nationwide, argued before the High Court yesterday that this would cause "irreparable and serious damage" to their businesses and, inevitably, many job losses.

But the company's trade secrets are now safe – at least for the time being.

Top judge Mr Justice Davis came to the company's aid when he referred its complaints for consideration by the European Court of Justice - a process which could take up to two years.

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He also issued an injunction suspending the introduction of the new packaging rules, which were due to come into force next month.

Bill Maynes, chief executive of BOCM Pauls, said: "We are very pleased that the judge has ruled in our favour because BOCM Pauls has over many years invested in research and development.

"While we supported the majority of the legislation, it was the requirement to list the precise percentages of the ingredients – and therefore reveal our secret formula – to which we objected."

"It would also have cost us £4 million on an annual basis and put hundreds of jobs at risk."

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