Hope for workers as buyer found for Rogerstone bakery

Avana Bakeries jobs 'saved' as factory taken over - reports

Avana Bakeries jobs 'saved' as factory taken over - reports

First published in Gwent news
Last updated

UPDATE: 4.55pm

Newport West AM said it is "excellent news" that Food Utopia is reported to have taken over the Avana Bakeries plant, potentially saving 650 local jobs.

She added she will continue to work with staff and representatives, and that she "looked forward to having discussions about the future of the plant."

South Wales Argus: Paul Flynn, Labour

UPDATE: 4.30pm

Paul Flynn, MP for Newport West, however, sounded a cautious note saying: “I would treat what appears to be ‘good news’ with a great deal of caution".

He said he heard the news at a meeting with 2 Sisters representatives this morning, adding: "We all like to be optimistic about future jobs but I’m very uncertain about the future viability of this. We hope for the best but it would be premature to celebrate too much."

“We want to see long-term contracts set up before building up peoples’ hopes.”

Rogerstone councillor Chris Evans added: “The company’s loyal and hardworking staff deserve clarification on their position. I think this is good news, but we do need reassurance that they will work hard to secure the medium and long-term future of the jobs. The last things we want is any more uncertainty.”

UPDATE: 4.15pm

John James, organising regional secretary for the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union, said he was told during a meeting this morning at 9.45am that a buyer had been found, with staff on the workshop floor told just after.

He said: “Everyone is relieved, obviously. They have 101 questions to ask, same as everybody else.

“We look forward to working with the new company moving forward to secure a future for Avana.” But he cautioned: “It is early days yet.”

The new owners have inherited Avana’s Christmas orders, a spokesman for 2 Sisters confirmed.

UPDATE: 3.58pm

Avana workers Claire Wilkins and Andrea Pitt, who have worked at the plant for 18 years and 25 years respectively, said they were “overwhelmed” by the news, especially in view the hard work they have put in over the last months in Avana’s New Product Development (NPD) department.

They said they were “staying to the bitter end” and that the factory is “like a family”.

And Helen Piacentina, who has worked in Avana’s stock control department for nine years and was looking for a new job for when the bakery was due to close in September, said she was “really optimistic about the future.”

She said: “Overall there’s a good felling because we were all losing our jobs in September and now we’re not.”

UPDATE: 3.15pm

The company that has bought the Rogerstone site, Food Utopia Ltd, has been set up by two former executives of the 2 Sisters group, who own Avana Bakeries.

UPDATE: 3.01pm

South Wales Argus: SUPPORTER: William Graham

William Graham AM for South Wales East & Shadow Minister for Business & Enterprise welcomed the news. He added the news "offers the potential of a sound future for the Rogerstone bakery. It is positive news that the new company has inherited Avana’s Christmas orders."

UPDATE: 2.25pm

Avana Bakeries have confirmed the sale of its site at Rogerstone this afternoon.

A spokesman said "it is proposed to operate the business under a new company, Food Utopia Ltd, which will aim to secure continuing operations. We will now commence the TUPE transfer process of colleagues."

"There will be a transition period as existing customer contracts transfer to the new company."

There are currently 552 employees at the Rogerstone site.

UPDATE: 3.22pm

REPORTS say Avana Bakeries in Rogerstone has been taken over, potentially saving the 650 jobs at risk since losing a key contract earlier this year.

The firm Food Utopia is reported to have taken over the plant and its inherited Christmas orders.

The plant's jobs were set to go after Marks and Spencer terminated a contract with the baker and shifted the work to a plant in Oldham in March.

Rogerstone councillor Chris Evans said: "It appears to be good news breaking about Avana Bakeries, workers tell me it's been taken over, and, they're positive about the future."

 

 

Comments (13)

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3:00pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Melvyn The Milk says...

Great news. Keep it coming. Onwards and upwards Newport.
Great news. Keep it coming. Onwards and upwards Newport. Melvyn The Milk
  • Score: 14

3:28pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Gerald of Wales says...

Fantastic news for Rogerstone and Newport
Fantastic news for Rogerstone and Newport Gerald of Wales
  • Score: 16

3:31pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Bobevans says...

I would not build your hopes up to much. This is a new start up and the bakery currently has almost no contracts. So unless this new company has big contracts lined up it will be quite a small operation
I would not build your hopes up to much. This is a new start up and the bakery currently has almost no contracts. So unless this new company has big contracts lined up it will be quite a small operation Bobevans
  • Score: -8

3:55pm Wed 9 Jul 14

DavidMclean says...

Bobevans wrote:
I would not build your hopes up to much. This is a new start up and the bakery currently has almost no contracts. So unless this new company has big contracts lined up it will be quite a small operation
You really think people just spend millions on buying a business and then go "Right, I suppose we need to find customers now".

Hilarious stuff!
[quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: I would not build your hopes up to much. This is a new start up and the bakery currently has almost no contracts. So unless this new company has big contracts lined up it will be quite a small operation[/p][/quote]You really think people just spend millions on buying a business and then go "Right, I suppose we need to find customers now". Hilarious stuff! DavidMclean
  • Score: 15

4:31pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Llanmartinangel says...

DavidMclean wrote:
Bobevans wrote:
I would not build your hopes up to much. This is a new start up and the bakery currently has almost no contracts. So unless this new company has big contracts lined up it will be quite a small operation
You really think people just spend millions on buying a business and then go "Right, I suppose we need to find customers now".

Hilarious stuff!
Maybe not as far-fetched as it sounds. According to Dun & Bradstreet and INC. magazine, 33% of all new businesses fail within the first six months. Fifty percent of new businesses fail within their first two years of operation and 75% fail within the first three years. Still laughing?
[quote][p][bold]DavidMclean[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Bobevans[/bold] wrote: I would not build your hopes up to much. This is a new start up and the bakery currently has almost no contracts. So unless this new company has big contracts lined up it will be quite a small operation[/p][/quote]You really think people just spend millions on buying a business and then go "Right, I suppose we need to find customers now". Hilarious stuff![/p][/quote]Maybe not as far-fetched as it sounds. According to Dun & Bradstreet and INC. magazine, 33% of all new businesses fail within the first six months. Fifty percent of new businesses fail within their first two years of operation and 75% fail within the first three years. Still laughing? Llanmartinangel
  • Score: -6

4:49pm Wed 9 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

Well if 85% of the old business was with Marks, and is now departed, that on my "maths" leaves 15% as a remaining non Marks restart. Unless they can grow their market. I think "caution" is the least of it.
Well if 85% of the old business was with Marks, and is now departed, that on my "maths" leaves 15% as a remaining non Marks restart. Unless they can grow their market. I think "caution" is the least of it. KarloMarko
  • Score: 1

5:13pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Magor says...

Trust Flynn to be negative,the waste of space.
Trust Flynn to be negative,the waste of space. Magor
  • Score: -2

5:22pm Wed 9 Jul 14

KarloMarko says...

How about "realistic"? And I am no fan of Paul Flynn or his party.
How about "realistic"? And I am no fan of Paul Flynn or his party. KarloMarko
  • Score: 4

6:45pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Newportg says...

Magor wrote:
Trust Flynn to be negative,the waste of space.
Simply being realistic. As is local councillor Chris Evans and the union rep.!
[quote][p][bold]Magor[/bold] wrote: Trust Flynn to be negative,the waste of space.[/p][/quote]Simply being realistic. As is local councillor Chris Evans and the union rep.! Newportg
  • Score: 1

6:51pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Gerald of Wales says...

What a good job the "Doom and Gloom" brigade are probably not running businesses
What a good job the "Doom and Gloom" brigade are probably not running businesses Gerald of Wales
  • Score: 6

8:25pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Melvyn The Milk says...

People could stop shopping at M and S and buy bread and cakes from the New Avana direct. That might send out a message too.
People could stop shopping at M and S and buy bread and cakes from the New Avana direct. That might send out a message too. Melvyn The Milk
  • Score: 2

11:32pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Llanmartinangel says...

Gerald of Wales wrote:
What a good job the "Doom and Gloom" brigade are probably not running businesses
You're probably right. Blind optimism is by far the better business model. I doubt anyone on here wants anything other than success for the new venture but the facts are what they are. Did anyone ever think Woolworth or Comet would vanish forever?
[quote][p][bold]Gerald of Wales[/bold] wrote: What a good job the "Doom and Gloom" brigade are probably not running businesses[/p][/quote]You're probably right. Blind optimism is by far the better business model. I doubt anyone on here wants anything other than success for the new venture but the facts are what they are. Did anyone ever think Woolworth or Comet would vanish forever? Llanmartinangel
  • Score: -1

9:21am Thu 10 Jul 14

Casper says...

I sincerely hope this will benefit the workers and not just leave them with less after the "new" owners ensure they are not out of pocket.
I sincerely hope this will benefit the workers and not just leave them with less after the "new" owners ensure they are not out of pocket. Casper
  • Score: 0

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