Karro Food Group and Tulip, two of the country's biggest pork processors, have announced job losses after both suffered 'significantly' fewer bacon orders.
Karro Food Group announced last week that it was proposing to axe 150 jobs at its Scunthorpe site, while Tulip announced 78 roles at its Tipton factory were at risk.
Local press in Scunthorpe and Tipton speculated the reason for the job losses to be a terminated contracts with Tesco.
"Things have been too quiet, and we put too many of our eggs into one basket," one member of staff at Karro Food Group told The Scunthorpe Telegraph. In a statement Tulip said it had lost "significant volume with a customer".
Last week Tesco announced its third-quarter results, showing total sales to be down 0.6%. The supermarket also announced 43 store closures.
A spokesperson for Karro Food Group said: "Proposals of this type are taken extremely reluctantly, and only when all other options have been ruled out. However, unfortunately these proposals are essential in order to ensure Karro's continued viability and growth as a business. We are working closely with USDAW and employee representatives to look for every opportunity to mitigate job losses and will support our employees in every way possible through this difficult process."
In a statement Tulip said it hoped some employees could be transferred elsewhere in the business.
Tulip Group HR director Kirsty Wilkins explained the decision: "While our commercial team is working hard to replace the lost volume, the harsh reality is that we are operating in a very challenging marketplace and therefore need to take the necessary measures to ensure the site can remain competitive.
"I do appreciate that this announcement will cause a great deal of uncertainty and concern for those people currently employed on the twilight shift and we will be working with them and their representatives over the coming weeks to identify ways in which we can mitigate the potential impact of our proposal."
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