TWELVE managerial posts have been lost at one of Leek's biggest employers – but workers have been reassured no major shop floor redundancies are being considered.
Adams Foods in Sunnyhills Road on the Barnfields Industrial Estate, has made seven managers redundant and redeployed one, with four being lost by natural wastage.
Marketing director Alastair Jackson told the Post & Times that the "market was tough" and that bosses at the cheese packing plant were examining all aspects of the business.
He said: "We employ around 700 people and there have been 12 manager positions lost, with seven of them redundancies, which is unfortunate
"We are constantly looking at all aspects of the business and also how to move forward with structural changes.
"We are a £450 million business and have recently added a lot of new business.
"Mangers are to speak to workers the reassure them there will be no mass redundancies at the company."
In March, Adams Foods and First Milk announced the completion of a long-term, strategic cheese supply partnership. The partnership was intended to reinforce Adams Foods' position as a leading supplier of both British and Irish cheese in the UK.
Union leaders based at the company say they are monitoring the situation, but have been assured that no production workers jobs are in jeopardy.
GMB union representative Arthur Rowlands said: "I attended a meeting along with a colleague with the marketing director on Monday. I was given an assurance at the meeting that there was no question of any production workers positions being made redundant.
"I have also been informed that a senior manager is going to give a talk about the business to every shift this week when everyone will be briefed
"As the union representative I am obviously watching and monitoring the situation, but I am very pleased that everyone is to be spoken to, as I am conscious of people's concerns when they hear of any job losses."
"Workers who have left the factory since February have not been replaced. There is a retail prices war going on in supermarkets and I have been told that the merger with First Milk in February has created additional work, but probably not the volume expected. Every department is looking at its costs."
The completion of the deal with First Milk followed approval from both the UK's Office of Fair Trading and Irish Competition Authority for the development of a secure, efficient and fully integrated supply chain for hard cheese in the UK retail, food service and wholesale sectors.
Adams utilises its best-in-class facility to cut, pack and market the high quality hard cheeses, including branded cheddars, produced at First Milk's award winning Lake District and Haverfordwest creameries.