Heineken has confirmed a shake-up of operations around its Bulmers cider brand

Heineken has confirmed a shake-up of operations around its Bulmers cider brand

Heineken has confirmed it has entered into a consultation process with 97 staff affected by changes to UK production of its Bulmers cider brand.

The company is planning to move all cider production and packaging undertaken at its plant in Ledbury to Hereford - 12 miles away - as part of a GBP58m (US$96.2m) investment, it said in a statement today (3 April). The Ledbury plant, part of Universal Beverages Ltd (UBL), will become a “dedicated fruit milling site”, the company said.

“There are 97 people at UBL affected by these proposals and we have entered into a formal consultation process with them,” the statement said. 

However, the brewer said that the investment at Hereford will create “at least” 50 jobs, which will all be available to those affected at Ledbury. Sixteen jobs will also be retained at the Ledbury site to carry out fruit milling operations.

Trade union Unite branded the announcement a “matter of serious concern for the workforce and their families, as well as the local Ledbury economy”. The union said it had met with company representatives and was due to meet affected workers today. 

Unite regional officer Chris Purvis said: “Our twin aims are to investigate how many jobs can be transferred from Ledbury to the new plant at Hereford with the appropriate training and to avoid any compulsory redundancies.

“Unite wishes to work in a constructive fashion with management to achieve those two goals.”