Decision on closure of Jus-Rol is looming

Jus-Rol staff have helped out with projects across the area including reclaiming Eyemouth's 16th century fort
Jus-Rol staff have helped out with projects across the area including reclaiming Eyemouth's 16th century fort

Jus-Rol bosses insist that no final decision has been taken on the future of the closure-threatened factory.

Jus-Rol’s parent company General Mills was responding to rumours that the removal of machine lines by the company was the beginning of the end for the plant.

But a company spokesman said: “No machine line removal connected with the proposal has been planned in January. We are still consulting with employee and union representatives and no final decision has been made.”

In October, the firm revealed the factory could close by next autumn with the loss of around 265 jobs.

A General Mills spokesman said at the time: “We are making this proposal after carrying out a review of our manufacturing and distribution network in the European and Australasia region.

“The review revealed we needed to address excess capacity in our UK baking business by consolidating manufacturing production within the supply chain network.This proposal is in no way a reflection of our employees in Berwick.”

The company also announced the closure of a New Zealand based manufacturing facility and is also looking to close two American based sites.

This week a company spokesman added: “Formal consultation is now underway between staff and union representatives about the proposal to close the General Mills manufacturing facility in Berwick.

“No final decision has been made or will be made until after the end of the consultation process which is scheduled to continue until mid-January 2016.

“Our immediate focus has been and continues to be on working with our employees through this difficult period; local union officials from UNITE and USDAW are involved.

“We have met and are engaging with local stakeholders and are working with the Northumberland Development Company (Arch) to ensure that, if, after consultation, a final decision is taken to close the facility, appropriate measures are taken to help mitigate the impact on the local workforce and community.”

Jus-Rol’s roots are in Berwickshire, when Coldstream baker Tom Forsythe started selling ‘Just Roll’ pastry to his customers. After changing hands a number of times the company was bought by General Mills in 2001, who also own Haagen Dazs and Green Giant brands. General Mills has contributed to life in north Northumberland and Berwickshire over the years making donations to local charities and allowing staff to spend time on local projects such as strimming the area around Eyemouth fort.