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Pedigree pet food factory set to close with loss of 82 jobs

MP Shailesh Vara has pledged to do all he can to try to safeguard jobs under threat at the Mars Petcare factory in Peterborough which announced it was set to close on Tuesday (29 January).

The entire workforce of 82 people is set to be axed at the pet food factory, in Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston.

Workers were left stunned when the announcement was made at a meeting held on site at about 10am on Monday.

One worker, who did not wish to be named, said staff had been unaware of the planned developments ahead of the meeting.

He said: “We all had no idea. We only got told about the meeting yesterday.”

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “I am in contact with the management of Mars Petcare and am seeking further information regarding the consultation and the way forward.

“I want to explore every possible avenue to safeguard jobs but if that is not possible, then I want assurances that every effort will be made to ease the situation for the people concerned.

“Whilst there is the offer of jobs at other Mars factories, clearly this will not be a viable option for everyone, especially for those who have families and children attending local schools.”

A Mars spokesman said: “Mars Petcare has launched an internal consultation on a proposal for the closure of its factory at Peterborough. This proposal follows a review of capacity requirements at our dry pet food manufacturing sites across Europe.

“We regularly review our business to reinforce our position as the lead pet-food manufacturer in a highly competitive global market.

“Mars Petcare has had a strong UK presence since 1935, and the proposed changes, if they proceed, would enable us to continue investing in industry-leading facilities and people at our other UK sites.

“Should the internal consultation on this proposal result in a decision to close the Peterborough site, we expect to be able to offer a substantial number of our 82 associates employment at our other sites, such as the Melton Mowbray petfood factory.

“We will be working closely with all of those potentially affected to offer the best possible advice and support throughout this process.”

Source: www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk - Wednesday 30 January 2013