Bernard Matthews has confirmed that it will proceed with the proposal to close its Great Witchingham site, which will impact 600 jobs.

A spokesperson for the poultry processor said operations will cease at a date to be confirmed at the end of this month.

“We understand this will be very disappointing news for all concerned and a very difficult time for colleagues, who we commend for acting in such a professional and courteous manner during this unsettling period,” the spokesperson said.

“We promised that our key priority was to create as many opportunities and offer as much support as possible for all of those affected by this closure.”

“Thanks to the efforts of our teams, we are pleased to confirm that the large majority of colleagues will be offered roles at our five poultry processing locations in Norfolk and Suffolk. “

Those that are not offered roles at alternative processing locations will be “fully supported” with “all options explored before any final decisions are made”, the company spokesperson said.

“Whilst we recognise that it is difficult to satisfy every employee in these difficult circumstances, we remain committed to doing all we can and will be offering additional support until operations wind down in the coming weeks.”

Site closure

It was announced it January that Bernard Matthews had put a proposal forward to cease operations at the Great Witchingham site.

At the time, a spokesperson said that the cooked meat site was “not a sustainable operation”.

“Despite investment in recent years and our efforts to secure more business, it is still loss-making and not commercially viable,” they said.

“Therefore our proposal is to cease operations at this location, putting the site at risk of closure.

“We understand this will be extremely disappointing news for everyone concerned at Great Witchingham.

“This proposal is in no way a reflection of the hard work and commitment our colleagues show every day.”

Bernard Matthews said the company operates in an extremely challenging environment and that the it continues to make losses.

£10 million in losses was experienced last year, down from £25 million in losses the previous year.