Frustration at lack of Jus-Rol answers

General Mills Jus Rol factory on the Tweedside Trading Estate
General Mills Jus Rol factory on the Tweedside Trading Estate

General Mills has refused to reveal the rationale behind proposed plans to move production away from the Jus-Rol factory in Tweedmouth.

Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan has expressed her frustration that, despite the intervention of the Prime Minister, bosses at the pastry manufacturer have failed to answer why production could move to Greece.

Mrs Trevelyan had previously received assurances from General Mills’ vice president Markus Muehleisen, that the company would be open and transparent and ensure a good stream of communication between themselves, the workers, and the local MP.

General Mills have now informed Mrs Trevelyan that they will not provide her with the basic information she requested before Christmas.

Mr Muehleisen, in a letter to the MP, said: “We are still actively engaged in consultation with employee representatives and union officials and no final decision has yet been made.

“The review of our Berwick facility is part of a broader audit of our global business. General Mills has recently completed a thorough review of its supply chain operations in order to improve our efficiency across our operations in a challenging market. This led to the difficult proposal to close the Berwick factory, subject to consultation.

“We have provided necessary information to the employee representatives, union officials and (where appropriate) directly to the employees during the consultation process. This has included some confidential and commercially sensitive information.

“We have been very open and transparent with our staff about the rationale behind the proposal as part of that process.

“We do not believe that it would be appropriate to provide you with the level of information you are requesting.”

However, he has agreed to meet with Mrs Trevelyan once the consultation comes to an end.

Mrs Trevelyan said “I am extremely disappointed that General Mills have told me they will not answer the most basic questions about the business case for their proposal. It flies in the face of their previous pledges to be open and transparent.

“The letter I received says they have been open with the factory’s employees, yet that is not what I am hearing from them.

“To refuse to answer simple questions about the forecasts and plans that have driven their proposal shows a fundamental disrespect for their own staff and falls short of the open dialogue I had expected from them.”

Around 265 jobs are under threat at the factory.