Job cuts as Newport bakery closes

Newport-based Avana Bakeries is set to close bosses have announced.

The Rogerstone firm, which employs 650 staff, will close in the summer following the loss of a multi-million pound cake contract with Marks and Spencer.

The contract consisted of 85% of Avana’s produce.

Following a 45-day consultation launched by owners 2 Sisters Food Group to avoid closure, the organisation released a statement saying:

“During the consultation, we have fully explored all the options available to us since losing what was the principal customer contract for the site.

“Sadly, we have been unable to find a way to keep the site viable.”

The company statement also revealed attempts to minimize redundancies by seeking volunteers and looking to redeploy staff elsewhere.

Paul Flynn, Newport West MP, said ministers need to do everything in their power to find alternative employment for workers. He added:

“This is a bitter blow for the individuals and families involved.

“It is an act of ingratitude following years of fine service provided in this industry.

“A great deal of work has been done to find alternatives to closure and it’s very disappointing that none of this has been successful.”

In a statement, retailer M&S said:

“Moving our cake supply was a tough decision and not one we took lightly, however it is an important part of making our food supply chain more efficient.”

The announcement is the end of a 77-year partnership with the Avana bakery, which will be replace by a contract with Oldham-based Park Cake Bakeries.