Following a major review of its European operations, Ornua has announced a proposal to close its Whitchurch site.

The proposal intends to transfer the production currently undertaken in Whitchurch to its nearby Nantwich cheese ingredients facility.

In a statement announcing the move, the company said it anticipates that the majority of the 90 people employed at Whitchurch will transfer to the Nantwich facility.

In optimising its production facilities Ornua believes it will be “more streamlined, more customer focused and be able to respond more effectively to market opportunities”.

The proposal to cease operations at Whitchurch was announced to staff yesterday by senior management.

The business will commence a statutory consultation period with employees potentially impacted to discuss ways of avoiding the proposed closure; ways to reduce the number of redundancies that will potentially occur as a result; and what other support and assistance can be provided to those potentially affected.

Ornua’s Nantwich cheese ingredients facility is a well-invested natural cheese formatting operation and the headquarters of Ornua’s Ingredients Europe operations, according to the company.

It produces multiple grated and diced cheese formats, a range of sliced cheese and delicatessen blocks and is the home of the Spinneyfields foodservice cheese brand.

Commenting on the proposed closure, Joan Bombardo, managing director of Ornua Ingredients Europe, said:

“It is with much regret that we have announced our proposal to cease operations at our Whitchurch site and transfer the production to our nearby, well-invested Nantwich cheese ingredients facility.

The proposal follows a major review of our business which concluded that by simplifying and consolidating our production facilities we will be more streamlined, more customer focused and be able to respond more effectively to market opportunities.

“It is important to stress that the proposed closure is not a reflection of the hard work and commitment of those employed at Whitchurch.

“The consultation process will commence as soon as possible. We know that yesterday’s announcement and forth-coming consultation will be unsettling, and we will work hard to keep colleagues informed of the process as it moves forward, as early and as frequently as possible,” Bombardo concluded.