Britvic, the UK-based soft drinks firm, has announced that it is proposing to close its manufacturing site in Norwich, UK , “following a detailed review of our manufacturing sites and distribution network”.
The firm said the closure, which is set to take place “towards the end of 2019”, would “improve the efficiency and productivity of our manufacturing operations”. Production of Robinsons cordial and Fruit Shoot children’s soft drinks are to be transferred to Britvic’s other UK manufacturing sites in East London, Leeds and Rugby.
Commenting on the news, Britvic CEO Simon Litherland said: “Britvic is proud to be a British manufacturer and Norwich has been an important site for our business for many years. This is not a proposal that we make lightly and we know this is upsetting news for our colleagues. We are very grateful for the hard work and dedication of our employees at our Norwich factory and today’s announcement is in no way a reflection on their performance or commitment. However the changes we are proposing today present significant productivity and efficiency savings in our manufacturing operations, deliver environmental benefits and, coupled with our ongoing investment programme in our GB manufacturing operations, ensure that we have the flexibility and capability we need to respond to changing consumer trends faster and more efficiently. No decisions will be made prior to full and proper consultation with employees and our focus is on ensuring we offer our colleagues on-going support and assistance throughout this difficult time”.
The proposed closure of the Britvic factory could also impact on a Unilever plant on the same site.
“Britvic and Unilever’s operations have been uniquely intertwined at the site for many years, relying on a shared infrastructure”, Unilever said. “Although no decisions have been made, we need to recognise that Britvic’s proposed withdrawal would have serious implications for Unilever in Norwich. The review will look in detail at the impact of Britvic’s proposed withdrawal from the site and will consider options for the most effective sourcing of the current Norwich product range. One of those options will include the potential closure of our Norwich factory”.
Source: Britvic / The Guardian