Jobs to go at yeast factory

Around 30 workers are set to be made redundant from Felixstowe's yeast factory.

FELIXSTOWE: Around 30 workers are set to be made redundant from Felixstowe's yeast factory.

Talks start next week on the job losses with staff and the unions at GB Ingredients, which was bought three months ago by Canadian company Lallemand.

The need for the cuts is said to be restructuring and posts could go in various departments at the site, where around 70 are employed.

The yeast factory in Dock Road has been part of the town for 50 years but has changed hands three times in the past four years.

Mark Robinson, regional officer with the union Unite, said consultation with staff is set to begin on Tuesday .

“We want to work with the company to keep as many in employment as we can and avoid compulsory redundancies,” he said.

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“It is very early days in the process at the moment and consultation is only just about to begin.

“It is a tough time for the yeast and bakery ingredients sector. You would not call it a luxury product but there is tough competition from manufacturers in the UK and abroad and everyone from farmers upwards are feeling the squeeze.”

One worker told the Evening Star: “Everyone is very worried. There is never a great time to lose your job and at the moment people are wondering where they will find another.”

A spokeswoman at Lallemand's headquarters in Montreal said no-one was available to comment. Senior executives, including the Felixstowe factory's managing director Dr Mike Chell, were all away at a bakery exposition in Dusseldorf.

When Lallemand bought GB Ingredients in July it said the Felixstowe yeast plant was one of only two in the UK, with capacity to produce bakers' and distillers' fresh cream and compressed yeasts as well as instant dry yeast for the European and world markets.

Are you affected by the redundancies? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

TIMELINE: Felixstowe's yeast factory

1950s: British Fermentation Products sets up yeast factory at Felixstowe port.

2004: Now known as DSM Bakery Ingredients, factory facing uncertain future because port redevelopment will cut off its molasses delivery pipeline.

2005: Company, now called GB Ingredients, sold to Dutch private equity investor Gilde.

2007: Sold again to French firm Lesaffre who make around 30 redundancies.

2009: Canadian company Lallemand announce they are the new owners of the yeast factory.